assistant principal second violin

Winston Webber

Winston Webber has been a member of the NAC Orchestra for 35 years, beginning with its 1985 tour to Japan. 

He studied violin and conducting at the University of Michigan with the brilliant Cuban violinist Angel Reyes and later in Toronto with Steven Staryk and Lorand Fenyves. He studied conducting in New York with the Juilliard School’s Sixten Ehrling, at the Internationale Bachakademie in Stuttgart with Helmuth Rilling, and with Jorma Panula in the NACO Conductors’ Programme. 

In 1972, Winston joined the Toronto Symphony at the invitation of the late Karel Ančerl. In 1978 he was appointed Music Director and Conductor of the Peterborough Symphony and, in 1979, Music Director and Conductor of the Oshawa Symphony and the Chamber Players of Toronto.  His 1982 recording of Mozart’s Serenade in B-flat for winds, K. 361 was named best chamber music album of the year by Music Magazine and was nominated for a Juno.

Before coming to Ottawa, he spent two years as a pre-med student at the University of Toronto and received a research fellowship at the Ludwig Institute of the Princess Margaret Hospital, paying his way by conducting. 

Winston has since conducted and recorded with Thirteen Strings and was music director of the Viennese Winter Ball and the NACO musicians’ highly successful Christmas FanFair fundraising concerts, for which he also did the musical arrangements. 

His non-musical interests have included large-format photography, soaring, sailing and, more recently, writing. He has written program notes for festivals in Canada and Italy, biographies and essays on the first 50 years of the NAC Orchestra for the NAC’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations and has written over a hundred essays on music and recordings.