The Grammys announced their 2017 nominees this morning. One of them happened to be C.F. Kip Winger — better known as Kip Winger, frontman of the ’80s metal band Winger, who was nominated in the Best Classical Contemporary Composition category for his album Winger: Conversations With Nijinsky, a compilation of his orchestral work.
You see, Winger broke up in 1994 after the success of hits like “Seventeen,” “Headed For A Heartbreak” and “Can’t Get Enuff.” Although they reunited in the early ’00s, Kip Winger’s real passion became classical music. He studied with teachers at the University of New Mexico and Vanderbilt before being introduced to composer Richard Danielpour, who teaches at the Manhattan School, learning composition and eventually writing a ballet. “Over a period of about 12 years, I learned what you would if you went to conservatory, and just really stuck with it,” Winger tells The Los Angeles Times.
And hey, it worked! “The irony of my life was that my whole thing is like, there’s two things I want to do in life: study music and write music,” Winger says. “So being kind of a musicologist geek that I am, it was ironic to become known as a poseur-y ’80s figure. I do feel proud of myself that I really stuck to my guns and just kept going. This is what I am. And this is what’s important to me.”