The LSO is sad to hear of the death of former Principal Cor Anglais and Co-Principal Oboe (1960–68) Michael Winfield on 8 September 2017.
Michael was born in Derbyshire in November 1930 into a family steeped in the amateur musical tradition – his father was an amateur bassoonist and conductor. His grandfather was an amateur oboist and gave Michael his first instrument.
Michael studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music with Evelyn Rothwell and Sylvia Spencer. In August 1947 John Barbirolli heard him play and offered him the position of Second Oboe in the Hallé Orchestra. At the age of 16 he was the youngest member of the orchestra. He became Principal Oboe in 1952 and remained there for eight years working closely with Barbirolli and Evelyn Rothwell.
He was invited to join the LSO in 1960 as Cor Anglais/Co-Principal Oboe with Roger Lord, a player Mike had long admired. After eight years with the LSO working with Principal Conductors Pierre Monteux and István Kertész and travelling the world, he left to join the Philharmonia in 1968. Later he took up a freelance career working in a variety of different genres, from the Beatles to grand opera, as well as films and television.
Michael was renowned as a teacher both at the Royal College of Music and internationally. Many students from as far away as Australia and Asia travelled to study with him.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.