Wendy Warner is a cellist from Chicago, Illinois. She performs both as a soloist with major orchestras and as a chamber musician around the world.
Warner began playing cello at age 6, studying with Nell Novak at the Music Institute of Chicago. Her musical talent was apparent very early; she played the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14. When she was 18 she began her studies with Mstislav Rostropovich at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1990, Warner took first prize at the Fourth International Rostropovich Competition in Paris. The following year she toured the United States with the National Symphony Orchestra and Europe with the Bamberg Symphony; both tours featured Rostropovich as conductor.
Other conductors with whom Warner has worked include Vladimir Spivakov, Christoph Eschenbach, André Previn, Jesús López-Cobos, Joel Smirnoff, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Charles Dutoit, Eiji Oue, Neeme Järvi, and Michael Tilson Thomas. She has played in the US with many prominent orchestras, including the Chicago, Boston, Dallas, North Carolina, Jacksonville, New Mexico, Omaha, Nashville and San Francisco Symphonies, and the Minnesota and Philadelphia Orchestras. In Europe and around the world she has performed with the London Symphony (Barbican Center), the Berlin Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, the Iceland Symphony and L'Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse. She played the Brahms Double Concerto with Anne-Sophie Mutter and L'Orchestre de Paris under the direction of Semyon Bychkov.
A passionate chamber musician, Warner has collaborated with the Vermeer Quartet, the Fine Arts Quartet, and with esteemed violinist Gidon Kremer. Recital work includes performances at the Music Institute of Chicago, Nichols Hall, the Phillips Collection and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and internationally in both Milan and Tokyo. The cellist was invited to perform in recital and with orchestra at the 70th birthday celebration concert of Rostropovich in Kronberg, Germany and with Rostropovich in the Vivaldi double concerto in Reims, France. Festival highlights include performances with El Paso Pro-Musica and Penderecki's Beethoven Easter Festival in Kraków. During the 2008-2009 season she made her debut with the Cape Town Philharmonic, playing the Barber Concerto, and she opened the Anchorage Symphony's season with Prokofiev's Sinfonia Concertante.
Warner is a member of the Beethoven Project Trio, a part of the International Beethoven Project, alongside violinist Sang Mee Lee and pianist George Lepauw. In March 2009 the group premiered a recently rediscovered Beethoven piano trio and performed two of the great composer's other piano trios that had been previously unheard in the US. The group released a recording of these works in 2010 on the Cedille label.
Warner released a second CD in 2010, also on Cedille. This recording features sonatas by 20th-century Russian composers such as Rachmaninoff and Miaskovsky.
A recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Warner currently is the professor of cello at the Schwob School of Music of Columbus State University in Columbus, GA.