Paul Wiancko has led an exceptionally multifaceted musical life as a cellist, composer, and collaborator. As a student, Paul was simultaneously winning international cello competitions (which led him, most notably, to Poland to perform the Lutoslawski Cello Concerto with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra) and recording strings for local punk bands in his dorm room. That duality embedded itself in Paul’s artistic DNA and has since resulted in collaborations with artists ranging from Chick Corea, Etta James, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Max Richter to members of Arcade Fire, The National, Blonde Redhead, and many others.
An avid chamber musician, Paul’s performances with Musicians From Marlboro have been described as “utterly transparent” and “so full of earthy vitality and sheer sensual pleasure that it made you happy to be alive” (Washington Post). Paul has had the pleasure of performing alongside Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, Nico Muhly, and members of the Guarneri, Takács, JACK, Parker, and Juilliard quartets. In 2009, Paul joined the award-winning Harlem 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 viola and cello duo Ayane & Paul, as well as the folk-inspired Bird’s Eye Trio, and tours regularly with the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO) and American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME).
Recently chosen as one of Kronos Quartet’s “50 for the Future”, Paul’s own music has been described as “dazzling” (Star Tribune) and “vital pieces that avoid the predictable” (Allan Kozinn), in which “gestural stabs and interlocking melodies swirl and gel, revealing a wealth of colors and textures” (Pop Matters). Winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award for Composition, Paul’s recent commissions include works for the Aizuri, Parker, St. Lawrence, Kronos, and Attacca Quartets, yMusic, violinist Alexi Kenney, Banff Centre, Bargemusic, and the Raleigh Civic Symphony. He has been invited to be composer-in-residence at the Caramoor, Spoleto, Twickenham, Newburyport, Portland, and Methow Valley Festivals. His 26-minute quartet LIFT is featured on the Aizuri Quartet’s album Blueprinting, which was recently nominated for a Grammy Award and named one of NPR’s top 10 classical albums of 2018.
Paul performs on a 2010 Mario Miralles violoncello and lives in New York. Though cello was Paul’s first love, he also enjoys playing guitar, bass, violin, viola, harmonica, berimbau, shamisen and theremin. He is passionate about woodworking and hiking, and never travels without a tenkara fly-fishing rod.