The festival performs an important service by commissioning new works, including Saturday’s opener, David Winkler’s Forza Vita Festival Overture. Brimming with nobility and grandeur, it made for an effective curtain raiser.

Chicago Classical Review

October 18, 2012

David Winkler has received a Martha Argerich Project/Lugano Festival Commission, a Leonard Bernstein Composer Fellowship, a Fromm Foundation at Tanglewood Commission, commissions from the Korean Broadcasting System, the National Symphony Orchestral/Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Kurpfalziches Kammerorchester of Mannheim, I Musici di Parma, the Dubai Concert Committee, a special ASCAP award, the BMI Young Composer Award, etc.  He has been composer in residence with the Aspen Music Festival, the Banff Centre, Opera/Omaha , the Chautauqua Opera and the Lincoln Center Institute. He has also received a fellowship grant by the New York Foundation for the Arts (2001)to support the creation of a variety of new symphonic works; and a commission grant by the New York State Council on the Arts to create new choral works.

New York composer David Winkler has written over 200 works for orchestras and ensembles worldwide. Upcoming commissioned premieres in 2019 include Lyric Preludes for I Musici di Parma in Lugano, Symphony No. 4 for the Suoni dal Golfo Music Festival in Lerici, Italy; a Symphony for Organ and Orchestra for the Ocean Grove Music Festival of New Jersey, a four-hand piano miniature for the Musicorba and solo works for pianists Walter Delahunt and Gabriele Baldocci.  Recent premieres have also included his Piano Quintet for the Martha Argerich Project/Lugano Festival; the orchestral Concert Prelude No. 3 for the Philadelphia International Music Festival last July and the Symphonic Overture "Forza Vita" for the International Beethoven Festival-Chicago, Illinois: upcoming commercial recordings include the Piano Trio “Warhol Appassionata” with the Verdehr Trio; Scherzo with pianist  Gabriele Baldocci and Piano Sonata No. 3 with Walter Delahunt. Other recent premieres include those by   The Paris Chamber Orchestra (Dubai, Sharzah, South Korea), The National Symphony of the Ukraine; The Symphony Un Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina; National Symphony Orchestra of Bolivia, The Korean Broadcasting System, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, Queen's Chamber Band (NYC) , Houston Grand Opera, Kharkov Philharmonic (Ukraine) as well as commissions from The Alabama Symphony (Birmingham, AL), Long Island Mozart Festival (NY, USA), The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts National Symphony , and the Aspen Music Festival (Violin Concerto No. 1), the Voxare String Quartet and the International Chamber Soloists, etc.

His works have been recorded on Naxos International including the “Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” and “Elements Concerti” and on Crystal Records, “Warhol Appassionata”. His operatic works include the recent one-act opera, "Pullman Car Hiawatha" based on the play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Thornton Wilder.

David Winkler has served as the Executive and Artistic Director of Chamber Players International since 1999 and currently serves as composer-in-residence for the Paris Festival Orchestra. IMDb film score for the dramatic short, "The Waltz", directed by Trevor Zhou.