William Winant, "one of the best avant-garde percussionists working today" according to Mark Swed of The Los Angeles Times, has collaborated with some of the most innovative and creative musicians of our time, including John Cage, Iannis Xenakis, Keith Jarrett, Anthony Braxton, James Tenney, Cecil Taylor, Steve Reich, Jean-Philippe Collard, Frederic Rzewski, Ursula Oppens, Joan LaBarbara, and the Kronos String Quartet. He also worked with rock acts like Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas) and Sonic Youth.
He is principal percussionist with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the John Zorn Chamber Ensemble. Since 1995 he has been the percussionist with the avant-rock band Mr. Bungle, has made two recordings (Disco Volante and California on Warner Brothers), and has toured throughout the world with the group.
In March of 1997, he participated in the world premiere of Lou Harrison's "Rhymes with Silver" with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and subsequently, has toured the piece throughout the United States, and Great Britain with that group.
He has made over 100 recordings, covering a wide variety of genres, including music from Earle Brown, John Zorn, Pauline Oliveros, Luc Ferrari, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Danny Elfman (Batman Returns), Souxie and the Banshees, and the Thurston Moore Trio. His recording of Lou Harrison's La Koro Sutro (New Albion) was the New York Times Critic's Choice for best contemporary recording of 1988.
His recent recording of 20th-century avant-garde composers with the influential rock band Sonic Youth (Goodbye 20th-Century SYR4) was hailed by both The Los Angeles Times and New York's Village Voice as one of the best compendiums of this type of music ever recorded.
Many important composers have written works for him, including John Cage, Lou Harrison, John Zorn, Peter Garland, Alvin Curran, Chris Brown, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Terry Riley, Fred Frith, Somei Satoh, and Leo Wadada Smith. Mr. Winant has performed as a guest artist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Pierre Boulez; the San Francisco Symphony (with the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio); the Berkeley Symphony; the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra; the Ravinia Music Festival, as well as at many major festivals and recitals throughout the world.
For ten years he was principal percussionist with the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Dennis Russell Davies, director), and timpanist with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra 1985-1989 (Nicholas McGegan, director) He teaches at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Cruz, and is Artist-in-Residence at Mills College with the internationally recognized Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, which has commissioned over twenty-five new works for violin, piano, and percussion.