Paul Wiancko has led an exceptionally multi-faceted musical life as a cellist, 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.
Leading a double life, Paul converted his dorm room into a production studio and began arranging and recording strings for local underground punk bands, eventually leading to collaborations with bands like Pennywise, Veruca Salt, and Yellowcard. Ever the versatile musician and improviser, Pau lhas toured and performed extensively with Chick Corea and Jóhann Jóhannsson while working closely with them on arrangements. He has performed on numerous film scores and albums, including Cor ea’s Hot House, which won a Grammy in 2013. He has had the honor of performing with the late Etta James at the Hollywood Bowl and Stanley Clarke at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
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 dynamic viola/cello duo Ayane & Paul , as well as the folk-inspired Bird’s Eye Trio , and tours regularly with the East Coast Cham ber Orchestra ( ECCO) and American Contemporary Music Ensemble ( ACME).
Winner of the 2018 S&R Foundation Washington Award for Composition, Paul’s music has been described as “dazzling”, “ compelling” ( Star Tribune), “surprising, fun, fresh, and innovative” ( Sequenza21). Paul has composed works for the award-winning Aizuri and Parker Quartets, Met Opera soprano Susanna Phillips, cellist Judith Serkin, violist Ayane Kozasa, yMusic, cellist Gabriel Cabezas, Boston Cello Quartet, Bargemusic, and many others, and has been the composer-in-residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Twickenham, Newburyport, and Methow Valley Chamber Music Festivals.
Paul performs on a 2010 Mario Miralles violoncello and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Though cello was his first love, Paul 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.