Winant, William, American percussionist; b. N.Y., Feb. 11, 1953. His mother was the well-known casting director Ethel Winant; his father, H.M. Wynant, was an actor. He was educated at York Univ. in Toronto (B.F.A., 1977) and Mills Coll. in Oakland, Calif. (M.F.A., 1982). He toured with Steve Reich and Musicians (1973) and the Kronos Quartet (1984). In 1983 he became a visiting lecturer at the Univ. of Calif. at Santa Cruz, and in 1984 joined the percussion faculty at the Univ. of Calif. at Berkeley; also was principal percussionist of the Ca-brillo Music Festival (1984-93) and of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (from 1988). A leading avant-garde percussionist, Winant has given first performances of works by such composers as John Cage, Frederic Rzewski, Daniel Lentz, John Zorn, Somei Sa-toh, and Morton Feldman. He appeared as a soloist with the Los Angeles Phil. and Cabrillo Festival Orch., and at the Ravinia Music Festival. In 1984 he formed (with David Abel, violin, and Julie Steinberg, piano) the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, with which he toured widely and recorded; he also performed with Room (with Larry Ochs and Chris Brown) and with the live electroacoustic ensemble Challenge (with Anthony Braxton and David Rosenboom). From 1993 he became active with the rock bands Oingo Boingo and Mr. Bungle.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire