Carol Wincenc



Competition Winner

Born: June 29, 1949 (Buffalo, NY)

Hailed "Queen of the Flute" (New York Magazine) flutist CAROL WINCENC was First Prize Winner of the (sole) 1978 Walter W. Naumburg Solo Flute Competition, as well as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the National Flute Association, the National Society of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Music, and Distinguished Alumni Awards from Manhattan School of Music and the Brevard Music Center.

During the past two seasons she performed, recorded and has given masterclasses as an exclusive Burkart Flutes Artist in Beijing, Shenyang, Seoul, Warsaw, Prague, Venice, Nice, and Thessoloniki, Greece. In North America she performed as soloist and chamber musician from coast to coast, including Seattle, Phoenix, Dallas, Edmonton, Banff, Iowa City, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Tucson, Palm Beach, Sarasota, Philadelphia, Boston and her home city, New York.

Recently she recorded an all Uebayashi album with the award winning Escher String Quartet, and video/audios in partnership with her collaborator/pianist Bryan Wagorn of the Metropolitan Opera. She and Mr. Wagorn performed to a sold out house at Weill Carnegie Hall for the "Naumburg Looks Back" series.

Delighting audiences for more than four decades with her signature charismatic, high virtuosity and deeply heartfelt musicality, she has appeared as soloist with such ensembles as the Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Detroit and London Symphonies, the BBC, Warsaw and Buffalo Philharmonics, as well as the Los Angeles, Stuttgart and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, the latter for which she was Principal and Solo Flute from 1972-77. She has performed in countless festivals such as Mostly Mozart, Aldeburgh, Budapest, Frankfurt, Santa Fe, Spoleto, Music at Menlo, Aspen, Yale/Norfolk, Sarasota, Banff and Marlboro.

The muse of today's most prominent composers, Ms. Wincenc has premiered numerous works written for her by Christopher Rouse, Henryk Gorecki, Lukas Foss, Jake Heggie, Paul Schoenfeld, Tod Machover, Yuko Uebayashi, Thea Musgrave, Andrea Clearfield, Shi-Hui Chen and Joan Tower. In great demand as a chamber musician, Ms. Wincenc has collaborated with the Emerson, Tokyo, Guarnieri, Cleveland, Juilliard and Escher String Quartets, and performed with Jessye Norman, Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma. A Grammy nominee, she has recorded for Nonesuch, London/Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Telarc (Diapason D'Or Award), Music Masters (Recording of Special Merit with Andras Schiff) and Naxos (Grammophone Magazine "Pick of the Month with Buffalo Philharmonic).

Ms. Wincenc created and directed a series of International Flute Festivals at the Ordway Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, featuring such diverse artists as Jean-Pierre Rampal, Herbie Mann, Steven Kujala and the American Indian flutist, R. Carlos Nakai. She had the privilege of working directly with legendary music luminaries Aaron Copland, Olivier Messaien, Rudolf Serkin, Joshua Bell, Christophe Eschenbach, Loren Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Philip Glass, Andre Previn, Paul Simon and Judy Collins, to name a few!

She is a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet and a founding member of Les Amies with New York Philharmonic principals Nancy Allen, harpist and Cynthia Phelps, violist. Ms. Wincenc continues more than a quarter of a century on the faculties of The Juilliard School and Stony Brook University having mentored and graduated countless rising, flute stars commanding principal flute positions in major symphony orchestras and university professorships. She also was on the faculties at Indiana University, and Rice University (1986-93).

She is renowned for her popular series of etudes and flute classics, the "Carol Wincenc 21st Century Flute" published by Lauren Keiser/Hal Leonard Music Publishers (available on 'Amazon'). A long time resident of New York City, she is the proud mother of singer/songwriter Nicola Wincenc ( Carol Wincenc was raised in a deeply active, musical family, along with her two older sisters, and under the mentorship of her violinist father and symphony conductor, Dr. Joseph Wincenc, and pianist mother, Margaret Wincenc.

Wincenc studied at Oberlin and received her bachelor’s degree from Manhattan School of Music. She received her master’s degree from Juilliard. She holds diplomas from the Santa Cecilia and Chigiana Academies. She has studied with Moyse, Gazzelloni, Lora, Baron, Willoughby, Tipton, Delaney, and Jos Wincenc.

Having concertized on five continents, Ms. Wincenc loves nothing more than "giving back" with her music-making to communities world wide.

As part of Ms. Wincenc's Naumburg prize, she was given a commissioned work by George Rochberg: Slow Fires of Autumn, premiered on April 24, 1979 in Alice Tully Hall. (See review below)

Excerpt from The New York Times Review, April 24, 1979 (Carol Wincenc's Naumburg concert)

Concert, Carol Wincenc, Flutist

"CAROL WINCENC, who won first prize in last year's Naumburg Flute Competition, gave her award concert last night at Alice Tully Hall and it was a stunner. The Buffalo musician is no newcomer of course. She has been heard with many of the most respected groups in the world, either as a freelance or a guest soloist, picking up a surprising amount of experience for one whose official debut came only seven years ago. All that background and Miss Wincenc's indisputable inborn gift as well were impressively in evidence throughout this program, which she shared with five clairvoyantly sympathetic colleagues.

The night began calmly enough, with Miss Wincenc and the harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper working smoothly through a Sonata in G by Giovanni Benedetto Platti and then raising the artistic ante with a tightly meshed performance of Bach's Sonata in B minor (BWV 1030). Miss Wincenc seemed to hold herself in somewhat for this Baroque portion of her program, but she phrased with the utmost flexibility and naturalness and produced unending streams of perfectly intoned, subtly colored notes. Hers is not the bright, tiuwhistle sort of tone that some modern flute virtuosos trade in, but a firm, rich sound that seems to come, in vocal terms, from, the throat and chest rather than the head.

The sheer beauty of the sonorities that Miss Wincenc was able to produce helped enormously in George Rochberg's “Slow Fires of Autumn.” The Rochberg, a world premiere, bore the subtitle “Ukiyo‐e II,” which referred to a school of Japanese painting that aims at giving a picture of the universe as an ever‐evolving process. This idea, which is mirrored in certain French Impressionist paintings, goes against the grain of most Western art and so does Mr. Rochberg's score, in which flute and harp seem to contemplate the swirling changes without much concern for trying to impose a formal organization on them. Oddly, however, in view of this sense of flux, there was a great deal of literal repetition, a dwelling on brief, hypnotic ideas, almost as if Mr. Rochberg had been enthralled by the sound patterns and had been reluctant to let them go. The results were sometimes a bit too suggestive of the cliched notion of what Japanese music must sound like, but more often, and particularly near ,the end, the piece worked its spell with a lovely economy and with simple, ear‐cleansing sounds. Nancy Allen was the deft and sensitive harpist.

After one of the most dazzling and rhythmically infectious performances you will ever encounter of Mozart's Quartet in D for Flute and Strings and some elegantly floated Faure (“Morceau de Concours”), Miss Wincenc and Mr. Cooper raised the audience to heaven with the first performance of Daniel Paget's “Romania!”. This one, with the harpsichord mocking the cimbalom's silvery sounds and the flute going crazy with happiness at being turned loose on such florid fripperies, was pure Cafe Romany entertainment. It sounded like a violin showpiece translated to the flute, but Miss Wincenc made it all sound as breathtakingly dizzy as any musician with a bows could hope to do." Donal Henahan


1978 Flute Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

George Rochberg: Slow Fires of Autumn

Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

1978 Philip Naumburg Solo Recording Prize (Carol Wincenc)

1980 Naumburg Recording Award

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