George Winston, Grammy-winning Pianist, Dies at 73

The new age musician had been battling cancer for the last decade

George Winston, Grammy-winning Pianist, Dies at 73
George Winston publicity image. Photo credit: Todd V. Wolfson

George Winston, a Grammy-winning pianist known for his new-age, soothing instrumentals, died Sunday following a 10-year battle with cancer, according to a statement on his website released Tuesday. He was 73.

“George quietly and painlessly left this world while asleep,” the statement read. 

Winston had been dealing with Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a cancer for which he had a bone marrow transplant a decade ago that prolonged his life. He was forced to postpone his 2023 tour due to his health issues, but aimed to return to the tour next year. 

Winston won the Grammy for Best New Age Album in 1996 for his seventh studio album, “Forest.” He was nominated four other times across his career for Best New Age Album, Best Pop Instrumental Album and Best Recording for Children. His 16 albums, spanning more than 50 years, sold a combined 15 million copies. His final album, “Night,” was released by RCA Records in May 2022.

Winston also made tribute recordings for notable artists like Vince Guaraldi and The Doors, and contributed charitable recordings to a Hurricane Katrina relief benefit, Gulf Coast and Louisiana Wetlands benefits, September 11 benefit, and a cancer research benefit for City of Hope. He also contributed to the “Peanuts” episode “This Is America Charlie Brown: The Birth Of The Constitution,” among others. 

“Throughout his cancer treatments, George continued to write and record new music, and he stayed true to his greatest passion: Performing for live audiences while raising funds for Feeding America to help fight the national hunger crisis along with donating proceeds from each of his concerts to local food banks,” the statement continued. 

Winston is survived by his sister, niece and nephew.