Columbus State University's Schwob School of Music just named Wendy Warner as the first Leah D. Hamer Distinguished Chair in Cello.
The faculty chair was endowed by Leah D. Hamer and her son, George S. Hamer III, both supporters of the Schwob School and the golf program.
Leah D. Hamer is a Columbus native, the daughter of the late Richard and Leah Desportes. She graduated from Columbus High School and Sullins College in Bristol, Va. She is a past member of the Columbus Junior League and is the widow of George S. Hamer Jr.
This is the seventh endowed faculty chair in the Schwob School.
"Their generosity is indicative of the support from the private sector that has elevated the Schwob School to a level of preeminence, not just among its regional peers, but as one of the leading music schools in the nation," said Rex Whiddon, director of development for the College of the Arts, in a statement.
Warner is a member of the music faculty and is also on the faculty of Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts and the Music Institute of Chicago.
She is an internationally acclaimed faculty artist and won first prize at the Fourth International Rostropovich Competition in Paris in 1990. She is a recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant.
She has performed in the top music venues in the world, including Carnegie Hall, Paris' Salle Pleyel concert hall, Berlin's Philharmonie concert hall and Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. She has performed with the London Symphony, Berlin Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Iceland Symphony, L'Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse and L'Orchestre du Paris. She toured Japan as a soloist with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and the Japan Philharmonic.
Warner is the daughter of professional musicians and the granddaughter of composer Philip Warner. She started studying piano when she was 4 and cello at age 6. When she was 14, she made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Four years later, she began studying with cellist-conductor Mstislav Rostropovich at the Curtis Institute of Music, from which she graduated in 1993.
Her next concert is at 4 p.m. Feb. 9 in Legacy Hall, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. She will be performing with pianist Alexander Kobrin and violinist Sergiu Schwartz. The program includes chamber music masterworks inclluding Tchaikovskys "Piano Trio in A Minor" and Mendelssohns "Piano Trio No. 2 in C Minor."