15-year old composer
Winston F. Schneider
"Are we similar?
"Do you love the sounds of music? Does a Bruckner symphony emotionally resonate with you? Are you enthralled by the theory and mechanics behind the emotions of music? Do you find insects and other small creatures captivating? I do too.
"Do you love a good game of chess or poker with friends? Do you read the newspaper while listening to your favorite symphonies in the morning? Do you enjoy the Lord of the Rings book series? Do you love the relaxing feeling right after an exhilarating swim? I do too." ~Winston
“The counterpoint is handled with professional ease, and the array of orchestral gestures is, frankly, stunning,” Albert Mendoza (composer, editor and author; Alfred Music) writes. “The thoughtfulness given to each of the five voices is impressive and masterfully done.”
Fourteen-year-old Winston Schneider is a composer, pianist and cellist. He’s won over thirty honors and awards for his musical compositions, including multiple national and international awards.
“Congratulations on your bold ideas and I hope you keep them coming,” announced Shawn Jaeger, composer, as he introduced Winston Schneider’s new orchestra work, “Insect Suite,” at the MATA Jr. Festival in New York in November, 2018. At age 10, Schneider was one of six pre-college composers selected internationally to compose a new piece for MATA Jr. Festival, which was premiered by the esteemed New York teen music ensemble, Face the Music, in Brooklyn, New York. This same year, Schneider was also NAfME's Composition Competition national first place winner, and string quartet “Scherzo of the Feather Stars” was premiered in Dallas, Texas.
“It’s like being a muse. You give him possibilities and he does his magic, which is amazing for a kid his age,” says Dr. Kenneth Meints in the Omaha World Herald (October, 2016).
Schneider began composing at age five. He has a rare musical ability of Absolute Pitch. He began music theory at the university level at age eight.
At age 12, he was the youngest student ever to be accepted in the Curtis Institute of Music’s esteemed Summerfest composition program. The same year, Schneider was one of a few non-New York residents selected to be a part of the New York Youth Symphony Composing Program and Conducting Program during their virtual year. The New York Youth Symphony premiered and recorded Schneider’s “Battle of Five Armies,” for wind ensemble, inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” He was selected for “ComposerLab Flute: Young American Composers” for Dolce Suono Ensemble for composers under 30, and “Trying to Catch a Cloudless Sulphur” was premiered by virtuosic flutist Mimi Stillman. Additionally, a commissioned chamber piece, “The Summer of COVID-19 (from the Perspective of a 17-year-old Girl)” was premiered and recorded by the Omaha Symphony.
This year, at age 14, Schneider won the national MTNA Junior Composition Competition. His work, “Salt Creek Tiger Beetle,” a string quintet, is inspired by the endangered insect which is one of the rarest insects in the world, and only found in Nebraska. Additionally, Schneider won the Young Composers Contest for NFMC, with his piece “Symphony in B-flat Minor, ‘Revelation.’” In July, he was invited to be on NPR’s From the Top.
Perhaps most notably, Schneider received a prestigious American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Morton Gould Young Composer Award, a competition for composers up to 30 years of age, with 400 - 500 applicants each year. “Expiculating Quintet” is the work that received this honor.
Schneider has written works that have been performed across the country, including by the Omaha Symphony, New York Youth Symphony, Face the Music (NYC’s premiere youth ensemble), Ars Futura (Cleveland based contemporary music ensemble), Orchestra Omaha, SoundWaves String Orchestra, Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory ensemble, numerous string quartets and ensembles, as well as renowned musicians including Mimi Stillman, Jessica Meyer, Benjamin Fingland, Philip Sheegog and Hanna Landrum.
Schneider's received commissions from notable organizations, including the Omaha Symphony, the Omaha Conservatory of Music, the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory, KVNO classical music station and Project Harmony.
Schneider studies music at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, and is the current and three-time MTNA Junior State Piano Performance winner. He's also a cellist with the Omaha Area Youth Symphony.
With a firm belief that all kids should have access to music education, Schneider won the Lowell Mason House national competition for Music Education Advocacy, with a video submission about the importance of a musical education. Schneider continues to perform and speak as an advocate for music education access for all kids.