Yochanan Sebastian Winston has performed as flutist, saxophonist, conductor and composer for audiences throughout the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, France and Latin America. His repertoire spans classical music, jazz, klezmer, new age, contemporary “art” music, rock & roll and pop. He is active as a much sought after composer and performs as a soloist or leader in duo, trio, quartet and larger ensemble settings. Dr. Winston annually provides simcha music for over one hundred weddings, synagogue services and b’nai mitzvah celebrations.
In addition to the numerous musical groups that he leads in Southern California, Dr. Winston has many international performance credits. These include appearances with world-renown musicians in concert halls, music festivals and on live radio and television broadcasts in such places as the Darmstadt Ferienkurse, IRCAM (Paris), WDR (Köln), Fylkingen (Stockholm) and “Time of Music” (Vitasaari, Finland). Among the artists with whom he has been associated are Chaka Khan, David Sanborn, Anthony Braxton, Steve Reich, Avraham Fried, the Arditti String Quartet and Pierre-Yves Artaud. One of Dr. Winston’s significant musical contributions was the performance of the world’s first solo bass flute recital. He has given noteworthy premières both here and abroad of over fifty pieces composed specifically for him. In addition to his international performing credits, Dr. Winston has collaborated on film scores, has participated in the recording of numerous cd’s and formerly served as a faculty member of the University of California at San Diego.
Dr. Winston is a vital and active force on the contemporary Jewish music scene. As a composer, his commissions have included original settings of the prayers Nishmat Chol Chai , Ha Shem Roehi (Psalm 23)/Eshet Chayil and Y’kum Purkan as well as the non-liturgical works Articles of Faith and Some Thoughts on the Shtetl. Dr. Winston has been presented by the San Diego Symphony as soloist and composer in an original work entitled Galut Suite which was commissioned under the joint auspices of the Lawrence Family JCC and Congregation Beth El, of La Jolla. Most recently, Dr. Winston fulfilled a commission from the Jacobs’ Family Foundation for a one hour piece entitled Chamsin: Music of Reconciliation that has subsequently been recorded and released on a commercial CD. Solo concerts with his band Jewazz! have been received ecstatically throughout Southern California and noted for their breadth of repertoire and brilliance of execution. Dr. Winston serves as the Musical Director of three San Diego area synagogues.
Dr. Winston holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego, a Diplôme from the Conservatoire National de Region de Boulogne-Billancourt in France (where he studied with Pierre-Yves Artaud), a Master of Music and a Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. In addition to his work with Artaud (Professor, Paris Conservatory), he studied with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker (former Solo Flute with the New York Philharmonic), Thomas Nyfenger (Yale University), Harold Bennett (former Solo Flute with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), and Joseph Allard, among others.
Yochanan Sebastian Winston currently lives in Southern California and is fluent in four languages. Besides his work as a composer and performer, Dr. Winston is committed to his research in the area of Jewish music as a cultural phenomenon and to being a good family man with his beautiful wife and three young children.