An ICS biography

Mihaly Virizlay

The international music world first took note of Wendy Warner when she won First Prize in the Fourth International Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 1990. Frans Helmerson, the distinguished Swedish cellist, was quoted in the New York Times as saying, "I’m not sure I’ve ever before heard a young cellist with such potential. Everything that is basic to cello playing she already has, plus a natural stage presence that you rarely find. At this age (18) she’s unbelievable.". Later that year Ms. Warner made her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra and Mstislav Rostropovich, and the next year she was the featured soloist on their North American tour. Rostropovich also engaged her for a tour of Germany he conducted with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in 1991, on which she made her debuts in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Köln, Düsseldorf and Berlin. For Rostropovich’s 70th birthday celebration concert in Kronberg, Germany, she was invited to perform in recital and with orchestra, and later played the Vivaldi double concerto with him at Reims, France.

In addition to her tours with Rostropovich, Ms. Warner toured with the Moscow Virtuosi and Vladimir Spivakov (Toronto, Chicago and Carnegie Hall) in the 1994-1995 season, and toured Japan as soloist with NHK and the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in the summer of 1996. Other major conductors she has worked with include Christoph Eschenbach, André Previn, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Charles Dutoit, Michael Tilson Thomas, Semyon Bychkov, Yuri Falik, Leslie Dunner, Eiji Oue and Laurence Foster. Since 1991 she has played concertos with major North American orchestras, including those of Boston, Philadelphia, Montreal, Detroit, Minnesota, Dallas and San Francisco, and her extensive European engagements have included concerts in St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Berlin, Frankfurt, Reykjavik, London, Bordeaux and Toulouse, as well as a performance with Anne-Sophie Mutter of the Brahms Double Concerto with L’Orchestre de Paris.

In 1991 Ms. Warner was awarded an Avery Fischer Career Grant and gave her debut recital at Carnegie Hall. She has since appeared in recital in world cities from Chicago to Paris, Milan and Tokyo. Last year she recorded a CD of works by Hindemith (Bridge Records, 1999), a CD with Rachel Barton of duos for cello and violin (Cedille Records, 1999), and the Barber Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Marin Alsop (Naxos, 1999).

Ms. Warner is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and was a student of Nell Novak from age 6 until joining Mstislav Rostropovich at Curtis in 1988. Also an accomplished pianist, she studied from age 4 with Emilio del Rosario at The Music Center in Winnetka, Illinois.