NEWS: Wiancko named Music From Angel Fire's 2021 composer-in-residence / Ayane & Paul feat. on Norah Jones's Pick Me Up Off The Floor

"If Haydn were alive to write a
string quartet today, it may
sound something like
Paul Wiancko's LIFT."
NPR Music
"Vital pieces that avoid
the predictable."
Allan Kozinn, former
NY Times critic
"Incredible artistry"
Boston Musical
"LIFT challenges the sonic limits
of the string quartet...this
piece is a must-hear."
Osaka Yomiuri TV
"Extraordinary cello-playing"
Jewish Journal of L.A.
"Fresh and full-blooded"
Washington Post
"Ayane & Paul...deftly established
its precision and energy"
Allan Kozinn, former
NY Times critic
"So full of earthy vitality and
sheer sensual pleasure
that it made you happy
to be alive."
Washington Post
The perfect musical message
for our time.
Shelter Island Reporter
"So light and graceful it was.--....
nearly weightless, with........
detailed and utterly.....
transparent playing."....
Washington Post
scores available on
❖ wiancko editions→

Photo: Dario Acosta

Paul Wiancko has led an exceptionally multifaceted musical life as a composer and cellist. As a performer, he has collaborated with Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Goode, Mitsuko Uchida, Nico Muhly, and members of the Guarneri, Takács, JACK, Parker, Orion, and Juilliard quartets. Chosen as one of Kronos Quartet’s “50 for the Future”, Paul’s own music has been described as “dazzling”, “compelling” (Star Tribune) and “vital pieces that avoid the predictable” (Allan Kozinn). His 25-minute quartet LIFT is featured on the Aizuri Quartet’s Grammy-nominated album Blueprinting, one of NPR’s top 10 classical albums of 2018.

As a college 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 is embedded in Paul's artistic DNA, and over the years has resulted in close collaborations with a wide range of artists, from Chick Corea, Etta James, Norah Jones, Jóhann Jóhannsson, and Max Richter, to members of Arcade Fire, The National, Blonde Redhead, Dirty Projectors, Wye Oak, 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). In 2009, he 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 Owls, Ayane & Paul, and the American Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Winner of the S&R Foundation's Washington Award for Composition, Paul has been invited to be composer-in-residence at the Caramoor, Spoleto USA, Angel Fire, Twickenham, Newburyport, Portland, and Methow Valley Festivals. Recent commissions include works for the Aizuri, Parker, St. Lawrence, Kronos, Eybler, and Attacca Quartets, yMusic, Alexi Kenney, Tessa Lark, David Byrd-Marrow, and the Raleigh Civic Symphony. NPR recently wrote, “If Haydn were alive to write a string quartet today, it may sound something like Paul Wiancko's LIFT.”

Paul performs on a 2010 Mario Miralles violoncello and lives in New York. He is passionate about woodworking and hiking, and never travels without a tenkara fly-fishing rod.

The Blue Note with Chick Corea
EL VY on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert
[Photo: Leonardo Ramirez]
OWLS [Photo: Ashley Gellman]
Brightwave + Dawn of Midi at the Ecstatic Music Festival
[Photo: Charina Pitzel]
Lutoslawski Cello Concerto with the Polish Radio Symphony
American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Ayane & Paul
[Photo: Charina Pitzel]
Jóhann Jóhannsson + ACME
[Photo: Leonardo Ramirez]
Original works
Toy Bricks Violin, 2 celli, double bass
2013, 8'
Strange Beloved Land String quartet
2013, 18'
A Sanguine Clockwork Violin, viola, cello
2013, 9'
Ice Caves Violin, 2 celli, piano
2013, 15'
American Haiku Viola & cello
2015, 10'
Our Rusty Planet Solo piano
2015, 7'
cicada songs Soprano, string quartet, bassoon
2015, 15'
Busy Signals 10 partially buried pianos
2015, 8'
thous&ths Violin/guitar, viola, cello, clarinet, flute, trumpet/horn (yMusic)
2015, 8'
LIFT String quartet
2016, 25'
Heartlock Original Film Soundtrack
2016, 110'
Closed Universe Solo cello, piano, violin, viola, cello 2/glockenspiel
2016, 7'
Sonata: Buoyant Forces Viola & piano
2017, 24'
When the Night 4 celli
2017, 8'
Death Leaves a Cluttered City Full orchestra (3d1, 2, 2, 2 - 4, 3, 3, 1, timp, 4 perc, hp, pno, str)
2018, 10'
Vox Petra 2 violas, 2 celli
2018, 10'
X Suite Solo violin
2019, 15'
Faults Oboe, string quartet
2019, 13'
Ode on a Broken Loom String quartet
2019, 10'
Disintegration Lullabies Flute, violin, double bass
2019, 9'
Benkei's Standing Death String quartet
2020, 13'
Sonata: Shifting Baselines Cello & piano
2020, 22'
Reactor French horn & delay
2020, 6'
Only Ever Us String quartet
2020, 7'

these scores available at


FEB 4, 2021
Noe Music Listening Club
A deep dive into Paul's music and a live composition demo.
7:00pm PST/10pm EST
San Francisco, CA

FEB 15-24, 2021
Owls in residence at Yellow Barn
Alexi Kenney, violin
Ayane Kozasa, viola
Gabriel Cabezas & Paul Wiancko, cellos
Putney, VT

APR 16, 2021
Brooklyn Chamber Music Society
Program to be announced
Brooklyn, NY

MAY 12, 2021
Gamut Bach Ensemble
Presented by Philadelphia Chamber Music Society
7:30pm @ Church of the Holy Trinity
Philadelphia, PA

APR 16, 2021
Salastina Happy Hour
With Michi Wiancko, Judd Greenstein, and Ayane Kozasa
6pm PST
Glendale, CA

MAY 23-JUN 4, 2021
Spoleto Festival USA
Guest artist/composer
Charleston, SC

JUN 18-27, 2021
St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar
Faculty artist/composer
Stanford, CA

AUG 17-SEP 5, 2021
Music from Angel Fire
Composer-in-residence/guest artist
Angel Fire, NM

Recent collaborations

William Brittelle: Dido's Lament

Flock of Dimes: Like So Much Desire

DM Stith: Waving 1-4

yMusic: Ecstatic Science
(original work: "thous&ths")

Norah Jones: Pick Me Up Off the Floor

Tōth: Practice Magic and Seek
Professional Help When Necessary

Wye Oak: The Louder I Call,
The Faster It Runs

Aizuri Quartet: Blueprinting
(original work: "LIFT")

Aaron Roche: HaHa HuHu