Warren Samples Cello, Principal
Principal Cellist since 1986, Warren was born and raised in south- central Pennsylvania. With three generations of serious amateur musicians in his background it hardly seems surprising he has pursued a career in music. His involvement started at age six with the trumpet. At seven he switched to the violin and, finally, as a ten year old, he settled on the cello. Within two years he gave his first solo appearance on a youth concert with the Lancaster Symphony.
Warren's teachers have included Peter Kucirko and Marcel Farago, and he concluded his studies at the New School of Music in Philadelphia where he was a student of Orlando Cole. He took his first orchestral position at the age of twenty as a member of the Hong Kong Philharmonic and later joined the Caracas Philharmonic, arguably the finest orchestra in South America at the time, and was made principal cello of that orchestra after one season. He was invited to become principal cello of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra in the fall of 1986 and immediately established his importance to the musical community with a Master Series performance of the cello solo in the slow movement of Brahms' Second Piano Concerto, which was hailed as "a memorable debut...gorgeous". Later, his bold performance of the solo cadenzas in William Kraft's Interplay played an important role in the decision to record that work with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. That release, on Nonesuch Records, was the commercial recording debut of the ASO.
He has appeared twice as soloist with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra under Paul Polivnick and has also appeared as soloist with the Kennett Square Symphony and the Reading Symphony, in Pennsylvania.