The baroque cellist and viola da gamba specialist passed away aged 64 on 10 February following a long battle with cancer

A whear

Allen Whear © Sian Richards

Paul Allen Whear was born in 1957. He was based in NYC and toured extensively throughout his life as a baroque cellist. He taught baroque cello, bass and viola da gamba at the University of North Texas (UNT) College of Music from 2010 to 2022. His wife was Cynthia Roberts, the well-known baroque violinist and professor at Juilliard and UNT

Whear was associate principal cellist of Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra from 2000 and artistic director of Pro Musica Rara, Baltimore, Maryland’s premier early music ensemble. He was also principal cellist and recital director of the Carmel Bach Festival in California.

He was the recipient of an ITT International Fellowship and studied with Anner Bylsma in Amsterdam, following studies at the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Laurence Lesser, and the Juilliard School, where he studied with Claus Adam. Whear also obtained a doctorate from Rutgers University.

Whear performed as soloist with many ensembles, including Tafelmusik, the Brandenburg Collegium, Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Chamber Orchestra, and Charleston Symphony. He appeared with Musica Antiqua Köln, the Vienna Boys Choir, Concert Royal, Mozartean Players, Smithsonian Chamber Players, Aradia, the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and toured Japan and Singapore as principal cellist with Opera Atelier.

In addition to his performance career, his composition Short Story was commissioned and premiered by Tafelmusik in 2006. He gave masterclasses and lectures at conservatories and universities throughout Canada and the United States. As a programme note writer, his liner notes for Mozart and Beethoven symphonies were published on the Sony and Analekta labels. He performed on numerous albums encompassing many genres, including with Hammer Clavier Trio, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Vanessa Paradis, Jeanne Lamon, Mary Jane Newman, and Lenny Kravitz, with recording credits include Sony, Virgin, Musical Heritage, Naxos, and Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.