The Cello Camerata was founded by three teaching cellists who are inspired to work together and with others in a widening circle to share what we know of the art of cello playing and musicianship.

Founding Cellists

Wendy Warner

Cellist Wendy Warner soared to international acclaim, winning the International Rostropovich Cello Competition top prize at age eighteen. Her career took off with concerts conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich and debuts in Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Köln, Düsseldorf, Berlin and New York at Carnegie Hall. Strings magazine hailed her “youthful, surging playing, natural stage presence and almost frightening technique.” From a musical Chicago family, Warner studied with Rostropovich at the Curtis Institute of Music from which she graduated. Collaborators have included conductors Vladimir Spivakov, Christoph Eschenbach, Andre Previn, Jesús López Cobos and Michael Tilson Thomas. She has appeared with leading U.S. orchestras and internationally—from Paris and London to Serbia and Russia. Recent season highlights include appearances with the Wichita, Columbus (Georgia), Wyoming and Alabama Symphonies and return engagements with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Peru) and the Xiamen Philharmonic (China). Warner played the 2009 world premiere of a newly discovered Beethoven piano trio. With pianist Irina Nuzova she performed the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas on tour and by invitation at the U.S. Supreme Court. Other collaborators have included Anne Sophie Mutter, Gidon Kremer, the Fine Arts Quartet and Chicago Chamber Musicians. She has given recitals in Milan and Tokyo and is a frequent guest on WFMT in Chicago. Wendy Warner’s Cedille CDs include Haydn & Myslivecek; Russian Music for Cello &Piano; Popper & Piatigorsky; The Beethoven Project Trio; Double Play with Rachel Barton Pine; and Eclipse. On other labels she has recorded Hindemith’s chamber works; Barber’s Cello Concerto; and compositions by Dalit Warshaw. A CD of Edgar Valcárcel’s Cello Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Peru) will be released soon. An Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient, Warner holds the Leah D. Hamer Distinguished Faculty Chair at the Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University. She plays a 1772 Joseph Gagliano cello.

Jonathan Kramer

Dr. Jonathan C. Kramer served for thirty-five years as Teaching Professor in the Music Department at North Carolina State University, and for twenty years as Adjunct Professor of Ethnomusicology at Duke University. As a cellist, he has performed as principal of the Tucson Symphony and as a member of the San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras and the North Carolina Symphony. Among his teachers are Aldo Parisot, Gordon Epperson, Raya Garbousova, David Wells, Madeline Foley, and Maurice Gendron. He has performed extensively as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the U.S. as well as in Russia, India, Korea, Canada, Austria, Bulgaria, U. K., Switzerland, Portugal, and Italy. He has performed with The Mostly Modern series of San Francisco, Mallarme Chamber Players, Duke University Encounters Series, the Piccolo Spoletto Festival, Raleigh Chamber Music Guild; and presented solo concertos with a number of regional orchestras. He has recorded for Albany Records, and Soundings of the Planet; and taught in summer programs at the North Carolina University School of the Arts and Chamber Music on the Hill (CMOTH) at Converse College. His “An Homage to Pau Casals” for cellist and narrator has been presented at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, the 92nd St. Y in NYC, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and elsewhere.  He maintained a home studio for thirty years, and former students have attended Juilliard, Cincinnati, Peabody, New England, and Boston conservatories as well as Oberlin, Vanderbilt, and the UNC School of the Arts. As ethnomusicologist, Dr. Kramer has been awarded Senior Fulbright Fellowships at Banaras-Hindu University in India and at Chosun University in Kwangju, South Korea. He has lectured on global issues in music and aesthetics in the United States, the U. K., Korea, India, China, Japan, Suriname, Uganda, Thailand, Portugal, and for the Semester at Sea program. Dr. Kramer holds advanced degrees from Duke and the Graduate School of the Union Institute where he completed a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and Performance Studies with a dissertation on traditional Korean music. He is co-author, with colleague Dr. Alison E. Arnold, of the World Music e-Textbook What in the World Is Music? (Routledge Textbooks, 2016).

Lisa Liske

Lisa Liske is a cellist, teacher, and independent scholar whose early dedication to the cello took an interdisciplinary path when she was sure she was headed for the Tchaikovsky competition. That path led to study with Sophie Feuermann (sister of the great cellist Emanuel), Channing Robbins, Steven Kates, Irene Sharp, and Bonnie Hampton. Along with this training in “modern” cello playing, Lisa studied with Early Music specialists Anthony Martin and Elisabeth LeGuin. These master teachers gave her a broad cellistic background steeped in historical and stylistic perspective. She has continued to perform contemporary and mainstream classical cello repertoire as well as developing her understanding of Historically Informed Performance on Baroque cello. In the midst of an early career dedicated to the life of a cellist, Lisa chose to widen her path by attending St. John’s College (Annapolis). There, where all students read “the 100 seminal works of Western Civilization,” known as The Great Books Program, she emerged with the school’s trademark degree:  A double major in mathematics and philosophy and a double minor in science and language. From there she went on to earn a Master’s degree in cello performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Lisa is a registered Suzuki teacher and has taught Suzuki workshops and institutes in both the U.S. and England. She has taken teacher training in Alice Kanack’s Creative Ability Development method, an important current in contemporary music education that revives the tradition of improvisation as part of classical training. Lisa has always maintained a private studio from which many cellists have gone on to major music schools or (equally important in Lisa’s estimation) a life that includes active community music-making. She has also served as adjunct faculty at Washington and Lee University, Southern Virginia University, Hollins University, and Roanoke College. Her orchestral experience included positions with the Maryland Symphony, Virginia Beach Pops Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra of Southwest Virginia; she was principal cellist of Opera Roanoke and assistant principal of the Roanoke Symphony. But all along her main interest has been the solo and chamber voice of the cello, and in 2003 she decided to focus upon these repertoires. Along with solo recitals she has performed with Emrys Ensemble (flute, viola, cello, piano), Trio Sans Souçi (Baroque violin, cello, harpsichord), New River Ensemble (contemporary and classical clarinet trio with the occasional saxophone, flute, or banjo), Trio Éclipse (contemporary piano trio repertoire), and Jewel Tones (Baroque solos by the continuo instruments). She is also a member of the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra. Lisa has brought her broad background of thought and experience to the problems of technique and interpretation, developing her own systematic pedagogy. Springing from her thirty-year teaching career come the following materials: The Ants Book, a beginner cello method that explores the seeds of musical artistry; How to Fly Your Cello, a distillation of core technique-building activities; and A Pedagogy of Expression, her present study of how we make music move. Lisa’s current cellistic pursuits include preparing her books for publication, teaching online masterclasses about How to Fly Your Cello, and tracing the historical development of cello technique with a program for solo cello called Out of Italy.