A native of Saskatoon, William (Bill) Linwood studied with renowned percussionist George Gaber at Indiana University and continued his studies with Cloyd Duff (Cleveland Orchestra) and Kurt-Hans Goedicke (London Symphony Orchestra). Bill has been Principal Timpani with the Victoria Symphony since 1982 and has performed with many leading orchestras in both Canada and England.
Bill has been the Percussion Instructor at the University of Victoria since 2000. In March of 2001 he directed the Canadian Premiere of George Antheil’s Ballet Mécanique (original version 1924) with the University of Victoria Percussion Ensemble and in the following year directed a program dedicated entirely to the music of Edgard Varèse. In March 2006, Bill led the UVic Percussion Ensemble in a collaborative concert with Montreal’s Quasar Quartet. This concert featured Sofia Gubaidulina’s In Erwartung,for saxophone quartet and percussion sextet.
In addition to teaching MUS333 (Percussion Techniques) Bill has offered numerous masterclasses and clinics for professionals, students and educators across Canada. He has also contributed to several journals including a series of articles for the Canadian Band Journal. Since the summer of 2004, Bill has been the percussion instructor for the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific in Powell River, BC and has been the percussion instructor at the Comox Valley Youth Music Centre since 1994.
A strong advocate of new music, Bill is the co-founder and artistic director of Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble. He has conducted such classic repertoire as Boulez’ Derive I, Ligeti’sChamber Concerto and Ferneyhough’s Flurries, as well as Canadian premieres of a wide variety of Canadian and international repertoire. Highlights include the Canadian premieres or Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ De Assumtione Beatae Mariae Virginis, Thomas Ades’ Concerto Conciso with Louis Lortie as piano soloist and the November 2007 Canadian premiere of Pierre Boulez’ Dérive II (2006). A champion of the music of Quebec composer Gilles Tremblay, Bill has conducted several programs devoted to his music and recently led Aventa in “Le signe du lion”, the first in a series of Centredisc CDs devoted to the music of Gilles Tremblay. Conducting highlights of the 2006-2007 season included the North American premiere of Norwegian Rolf Wallin’s The Age of Wire and String, the North American premiere of Anders Nordentoft’s opera On this Planet and the US premiere of Poul Ruders Abysm in New York City.