Grammy-winning New Age pianist George Winston, died on Sunday at the age of 73, Variety reported.
According to a statement on his website, he had been battling cancer for the previous ten years. The announcement came through his Twitter handle and website and said, “We are deeply saddened to share the news that George Winston has passed away after a 10-year battle with cancer. George quietly and painlessly left this world while asleep on Sunday, June 4, 2023. Read the full message: http://georgewinston.com/about”
We are deeply saddened to share the news that George Winston has passed away after a 10-year battle with cancer. George quietly and painlessly left this world while asleep on Sunday, June 4, 2023.
Read the full message: https://t.co/Me4QgH2ibS pic.twitter.com/0Kzs6YSgE2
— George Winston (@gwinstonpiano) June 6, 2023
Winston began his career playing what he called “folk piano,” though in later years it was sometimes classified as part of the New Age genre at the height of that instrumental movement, or even classified as classical, though he refused to accept any of those labels. His first solo piano album, “Ballads and Blues,” was released in 1972 on the Folkways label, but he didn’t become a household name until the seasonally themed “Autumn” and “December” were released in 1980 and 1982, respectively.
According to reps, he went on to sell more than 15 million albums. Winston received a Grammy nomination for “Forest” and was nominated five more times. “Night,” his 16th and final album, was released by RCA Records in May 2022.
Winston is survived by a sister, niece, and nephew. The family has stated that a private memorial will be held. Donations in his memory are being directed to Feeding America, the City of Hope Cancer Centre, and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, as per Variety.
‘December’ was his best-selling album, owing to its status as a Christmas album, and it was certified triple-platinum in the United States. It was one of the releases that established the Windham Hill label. In the early 1980s, he had two other albums that went platinum, ‘Autumn’ and ‘Winter Into Spring’. His success continued into the 1990s, when three more of his albums, ‘Summer,’ ‘Forest,’ and a tribute album, ‘Linus and Lucy: The Music of Vince Guaraldi,’ went gold.
Winston’s interests extended beyond piano, as he also recorded acoustic guitar and harmonica. In fact, he founded his own label, Dancing Cat Records, primarily to release albums by artists who play Hawaiian slack-key guitar.
Winston sold 15 million albums while honing his folk-piano style, winning the New Age Grammy for ‘Forest,’ his seventh album, in 1996. He received five more Grammy nominations during his career, which began with his first solo piano album, Ballads and Blues 1972.