Wendy Warner is one of the world's leading cellists, praised by Strings magazine for her “youthful, surging playing, natural stage presence and almost frightening technique.” Warner soared to international attention in 1990, winning the top prize at the 4th International Rostropovich Competition in Paris at age eighteen. Subsequently she was engaged to appear with the National and Bamberg Symphony Orchestras, Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich conducting. And then she embarked on two tours, making a Carnegie Hall debut in 1991 as well as debuts abroad in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Köln, Düsseldorf and Berlin.
The Chicago native performs regularly on celebrated stages all over the world, including Symphony Hall in Boston, Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Paris' Salle Pleyel, Frankfurt's Alter Oper and Berlin's Philharmonie. Warner has collaborated with leading conductors including Vladimir Spivakov, Christoph Eschenbach, Andre Previn, Jesús López Cobos, Joel Smirnoff, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Charles Dutoit, Eiji Oue, Neeme Järvi and Michael Tilson Thomas. She has toured with Camerata Chicago and conductor Drostan Hall to Prague, Milan, Paris and other European cities. American engagements have included appearances with the Chicago, Boston, Detroit, New World, Dallas and San Francisco Symphonies; and the Philadelphia, Minnesota and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras. Internationally she has performed with the London, Montreal, Berlin, Iceland and NHK Symphonies; the St. Petersburg, Hong Kong and Japan Philharmonic Orchestras; L'Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse; Camerata Academica Novi Sad in Serbia; and L'Orchestre de Paris, with which she performed the Brahms Double Concerto with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, Semyon Bychkov conducting.
A passionate chamber musician, Wendy Warner has collaborated with the Vermeer and Fine Arts Quartets, Chicago Chamber Musicians, Jupiter Chamber Players and violinist Gidon Kremer. As a member of the Beethoven Project Trio, which also includes violinist Sang Mee Lee and pianist George LePauw, Warner gave the 2009 world premiere of a previously unknown Beethoven trio in Chicago's Murphy Auditorium, repeating the program at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall the following year. She also has worked with violinist Vadim Gluzman at Chicago's North Shore Chamber Music Festival in its 2011 inaugural and subsequent seasons. The Warner/Nuzova Duo, with pianist Irina Nuzova, performed the complete Beethoven cello sonatas at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., as well appearing by special invitation at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011. Audiences in Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Milan, Tokyo and elsewhere have heard Warner's solo recitals, and she is familiar as a frequent guest on Chicago classical radio station WFMT. Festival highlights include performances at the 2016 Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, El Paso Pro-Musica, the Grand Teton Music Festival and Penderecki's Beethoven Easter Festival in Krakow, Poland.
Wendy Warner's busy 2016-2017 season includes appearances with the Wichita and Columbus (Georgia) Symphonies, as well as the Reno Chamber Music Festival, Music in the Mountains Festival (Durango, Colorado) and return engagements with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in Peru with conductor JoAnn Falletta and the Xiamen Philharmonic in China. A CD of works by Chicago composer Mischa Zupko, Eclipse, was just released on the Cedille label featuring Warner, violinist Sang Mee Leer and pianist/composer, Mischa Zupko.
The child of professional musicians and the granddaughter of composer Philip Warner, whose symphony was premiered by conductor Leopold Stokowski and the NBC Symphony, Warner began studying piano at the age of four and cello at age six, under the tutelage of Nell Novak. At age fourteen she made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a WTTW-TV broadcast. She continued her studies with Mstislav Rostropovich at the Curtis Institute of Music from which she graduated.
Wendy Warner's discography includes several recordings for Cedille: Haydn & Myslivecek Cello Concertos, Russian Music for Cello & Piano, Popper & Piatigorsky, Beethoven Project Trio and Double Play: 20th Century Violin & Cello Duos with Rachel Barton Pine. She has also recorded Hindemith's chamber works on Bridge Records, Barber's Cello Concerto on the Naxos label with conductor Marin Alsop and compositions by Dalit Warshaw on Albany Records. A recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, Warner teaches at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Georgia where she holds the Leah D. Hamer Distinguished Faculty Chair. She plays a 1772 Joseph Gagliano cello.