Professor of Cello
Cellist Wesley Baldwin holds degrees from Yale College, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Maryland. He performs throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as a soloist and chamber musician. As a soloist with orchestra he has recently appeared with the Laredo Philharmonic, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Symphony of the Mountains, and the Aberdeen, Bemidji, Bryan, Chattanooga, Florence, Germantown, Johnson City, Hot Springs, Knoxville, La Porte, Oak Ridge, Manchester, New River Valley, Salisbury, Wintergreen, and Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestras, among others. His passionate and charismatic performances have been widely lauded.
An advocate for great music from all eras, Mr. Baldwin is one of the only performers of several little known and new concerti for cello, including recently those by Sollima, Wagenseil, Jacob T.V., Behzad Ranjbaran, and Alan Shulman. His recording of music for cello by Alan Shulman, released by Albany records, enjoyed widespread critical acclaim. He has also recorded for the Naxos, Zyode, and Innova labels. His most recent CD release, his fourth on the Centaur label, features the chamber music of Arthur Honegger.
Wesley was the founder of the Plymouth String Quartet, with whom he was a top prize-winner in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and a finalist in the Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition. He was also cellist of the James Piano Quartet for five years, with residencies at both Sweet Briar College and the Wintergreen Festival. Solo and chamber music performing honors Baldwin has received include the Prix Mercure, Homer Ulrich Awards, and a Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Performing Artist Fellowship.
As a member and principal cellist of the New World Symphony, Baldwin performed with many of the world’s great conductors and toured Japan, Scotland, England, Argentina, and Brazil. His orchestral colleagues there selected him as the recipient of the New World Symphony’s Community Board Award for artistic integrity and leadership. For many years Wesley served on New World Symphony regional audition committee panels throughout the U.S.
Dr. Baldwin has performed chamber music at the Aspen, Cazenovia, Hot Springs, Ojai, Sandpoint, Mainly Mozart, May in Miami, Skaneateles, and Sub-tropics Music Festivals, and internationally in Italy, France, Monte Carlo, Spain, Austria, Brazil, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and Costa Rica. In 2017 and again in 2018 he visited China, performing and teaching in Shanghai, Beijing, Xian, Nanjing, Ningbo, and other cities.
In the summers he performs and teaches at the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival, the ARIA International Academy, and at the Wintergreen Festival, where he is the principal cellist of the Wintergreen Festival Orchestra, and serves as the chair of strings of the Wintergreen Festival Academy.
Currently Professor of Cello at the University of Tennessee, where he received the Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise, Wesley previously taught at the University of Maryland and at Florida International University, where he was artist-in-residence with the Plymouth Quartet. He. His former students play and teach throughout the United States and Malaysia, an include a 2021 Marshall Scholarship Fellow.
Dr. Baldwin’s commitment to string education extends beyond his work at the University of Tennessee. He founded and directs the Tennessee Cello Workshop, an annual three-day gathering of more than 170 cellists of all ages from throughout the United States held each February. After serving as conductor of the Knoxville Youth Chamber Orchestra for 15 years, he now serves as Director of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra Association Chamber Music program. In Knoxville he also serves as Co-Director of the Knoxville Suzuki Academy.
Wesley lives in Knoxville with his wife, soprano Melisa Barrick Baldwin, and four wonderful children.
DMA, Cello Performance, with honors – University of Maryland (2000)
MM, Cello Performance, with honors— New England Conservatory (1991)
BA, Russian and East European Studies, cum laude—Yale College (1987)
Alla sarabanda: tranquillo by William Bolcom from Suite No. 1 in C Minor. Live performance by Wesley Baldwin at the Society for New Music by Amber Music.