Pianist George Winston is back. He is a true musician of healing. It’s not because of his lyricism music style. Winston overcame cancer twice, and he later suffered from myelodysplastic syndrome. Winston has returned to the piano after a major surgery that involved a marrow transplant in 2013.
The title of his new album called “Restless Wind” appears to be a metaphor of his life. Winston, who lives in Santa Cruz of California, was interviewed via e-mail by the Dong-A Ilbo. “I am now completely recovered, “ the celebrated pianist said. “I am busy preparing for the U.S. tour and my next album. I feel sorry that I cannot perform in Korea right now.”
The first piece titled “Autumn Wind (Pixie #11) evidences that Winston remains undiminished. His powerful touch, like a gust of wind, lasts for five minutes. Listening to the clear notes cascading like waterfalls feels like being repeatedly tapped by a crystal stick by the maestro. The 70-year-old musician paved the way for new age music in the early 1980s through his albums “Autumn” and “December.” He was known for his outstanding performance skills and lyrical melody. Each of his albums has been sold by millions, which was unprecedented for a piano solo number.
“It came to me in the middle of 1982,” he talked of “Thanksgiving,” which has almost become a classic. “I was inspired by the scenery of Miles City in Montana where I grew up.”
Winston explained that season was his major source of inspiration, particularly when the landscape and scenery of the countryside and the city changes. In “Spring Carousel (2017),” he included a special season.
“It was spring (in 2013) when I was recovering from the surgery,” he recalled. “I was able to practice the piano at the hall of the hospital, thanks to the help of hospital staff.”
In the small hall, Winston hosted three performances at the small hall for his fellow patients. All profit of “Spring Carousel,” which he composed at hospital, has been donated entirely to cancer research.