Cellist Paul Wiancko has led an exceptionally multi-faceted musical life as a performer, composer, and collaborator.
While earning cello performance degrees at the University of Southern California and the Colburn School with Ronald Leonard, Paul won top prizes at several international cello competitions which led him, most notably, to Poland to perform the Lutoslawski Cello Concerto with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and to Brazil where he performed the Shostakovich Concerto with the Bahia Symphony at the Teatro Nacional.
Paul spent many summers nurturing his love for chamber music at the Aspen, Perlman, Olympic, and Marlboro Music Festivals, where he performed with members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, and Ysaye Quartets. He has also had the pleasure of performing with Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Wiley and Richard Goode, among many others. After moving to New York in 2009, Paul joined the award-winning Harlem String Quartet, with whom he spent 3 years performing and teaching extensively throughout the US, Europe, South America, and Africa. Paul currently writes and performs as a member of the electro-acoustic chamber ensemble Bird’s Eye Trio, and has toured regularly with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra and Musicians from Marlboro.
As a composer, one of Paul’s first large-scale compositions was a highly virtuosic concerto for cello, orchestra, and electronics. Entitled “Tales From Bent City,” the piece blends Paul’s passion for hip-hop and improvisation with his love of the great 19th century late-romantic composers, and its New York premiere was hailed by Sequenza21 as “surprising, fun, fresh, and innovative.” Paul has composed works for the Grammy-winning Parker Quartet, Met soprano Susanna Phillips, cellist Judith Serkin, violist Ayane Kozasa, pianist Clare Hammond, and Bargemusic in Brooklyn, and has been the composer-in-residence at the Twickenham, Newburyport, and Methow Valley Chamber Music Festivals. Paul recently completed the score for the new prison-drama feature film Heartlock, as well as a new Mars-exploration-based work for solo piano commissioned by scientist Dr. Peter Smith, the principal investigator for NASA’s Phoenix mission to Mars.
Paul plays on a 2010 Mario Miralles violoncello. He currently resides in Brooklyn, New York, and spends his spare time woodworking, fly-fishing, and practicing guitar, bass, violin, harmonica, berimbau, shamisen and theremin.