This week, a younger than usual soloist: Ella Wimbiscus of Wilmette is 11 years old and studies cello with Hans Jørgen Jensen. Along with her older sister Mia Wimbiscus and pianist Liang-yu Wang, she presents works by Boccherini, Schumann, and Paganini, and the Incantation of Chicago composer Augusta Read Thomas.
Ella Wimbiscus, 11 years old, is a sixth-year Merit Scholarship student at the Music Institute of Chicago. Eager to follow in the footsteps of her older sister Mia, who appeared live on Introductions September 2019, she began learning the cello at 2½ years old. She studies with her mother Sanghui Wimbiscus, a faculty member of MIC, and with Hans Jensen, a faculty member of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music.
At the age of 8, Ella made her solo orchestral debut with the Sinfonia da Camera as a winner of their concerto competition, performing the Hungarian Rhapsody by David Popper. In October of 2021, Ella performed the Variations on a Rococo Theme by Tchaikovsky with the Highland Park Strings Orchestra. She has also twice been a winner of the DePaul Concerto Festival, both times getting the opportunity to solo with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago.
Last year Ella was the First Prize & Exceptional Young Talent Special Prize Winner in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, and won the Grand Prize Category of the Chicago International Music Competition. Previous years’ awards include Grand Prize winner of ENKOR International Competition, Walgreens National Concerto Competition, and runner-up in the 2020 Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
Ella was awarded a full scholarship to participate in the 2020 Orford Music Festival in Quebec, a program for college students. She’s also participated in the Musica Mundi International Chamber Music Course and Festival in Belgium. She has performed in masterclasses with Lawrence Lesser, Lluis Claret, Natasha Brofsky, and Michel Strauss.
Along with her mother and older sister, who are both cellists, Ella enjoys bringing music to the community. Ella is a budding ballerina, an avid reader, and enjoys playing with her adopted cat, Peta.