13-year-old Winston F. Schneider
"Are we similar?
"Do you love the sounds of music? Does a Brahms symphony speak to you? Love the mechanics and theory behind music? Love to draw creatures and inventions? Find insects fascinating, valuable and captivating? Do you collect elements of the Periodic Table? Create board games? I do too.
“Do you love Beethoven? Love a good game of chess? Love the fresh, crisp feeling you get on an evening after you’ve finished a long swim? Love Lord of the Rings book series? Do you love to stay up really late writing down musical ideas? or making a list of symphonies you want to write? or sketching and depicting elaborate maps of different worlds or blueprints for battle-ships?"
Thirteen-year-old Winston Schneider is a composer, pianist and cellist. He’s won over twenty-three honors and awards for his musical compositions, including 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 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, which was premiered by the esteemed New York teen music ensemble, Face the Music, in Brooklyn, New York.
“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.
In 2018 Schneider travelled to Dallas, Texas, for the Young Composers Concert for NAfME, where his string quartet “Scherzo of the Feather Stars” was featured, as he was the first place national winner for the NAfME Composition Competition (K-8). His “Insect March” also won first nationally in the NAfME Electronic Composition Competition (K-8, 2018).
With a firm belief that all kids should have access to music education, Schneider won the 2019-20 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.
Schneider was featured in a NET/PBS series “What If…Winston, Young Composer;” and also “Nebraska Stories: Winston, Kid Composer;” and nationally on the PBS “Arts Canvas” website, “Bugs and Books Become Inspiration for this 11-year-old Composer.”
At age 12, he was the youngest student ever to be included in Curtis’ esteemed Summerfest composition program (summer, 2020). Schneider is currently a member of the New York Youth Symphony Composing Program and Conducting Program (2020-21).
Additionally, after being a three-time finalist in ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, he received one of the top two types of awards, an “Honorable Mention,” in 2021. This competitive and prestigious competition, for composers up to 30 years of age has 400 - 500 applicants each year.
Schneider's received commissions from notable organizations, including the Omaha Symphony, the Omaha Conservatory of Music and KVNO classical music station.
Schneider studies music at the Omaha Conservatory of Music, and is the current two-time MTNA Junior State Piano Performance winner (2019-20, 2020-21) and is the Associate Principal Cello with the Omaha Area Youth Symphony.