Wytold plays an electric cello with two extra strings
Allowing him to capture the depth and power of a stand-up bass, the rich tonal timbre of the acoustic cello, and the bright crispness of violin solos and harmonies. Wytold creates his own rock-orchestral accompaniment through live-looping, often accompanied by bass, viola, violin, flute, saxophone, guitar, banjo, and/or percussion.
Wytold (William Wytold Lebing) began private lessons
In classical cello repertoire at age 10 and participated in school and regional youth orchestras throughout Northern Virginia, often as principal chair. He dreamt of studying cello performance in college but was held back by carpal tunnel syndrome, caused by an over-zealous approach to the instrument. After a 1.5 year hiatus, Wytold reintroduced himself to playing music by learning folk songs on the acoustic guitar. Guitar strumming and finger-picking gradually reintroduced Wytold’s fingers and wrists to the motions involved in performing, and also instilled a new soul and passion for heart-felt musicianship and the musical experience.
Shortly thereafter, Wytold took a long break from guitar playing and singing to fully devote himself to the cello, renewing his passion for the instrument. Just before receiving two Master’s degrees from Pitt (one in Philosophy, one in History and Philosophy of Science), Wytold began exploring live-looping and the six-string electric cello. His mathematical studies helped him visualize and manipulate the different cello layers when composing and performing, and at the same time he drew creative inspiration from outdoor rock climbing trips in West Virginia and California.
Wytold is an NS Design featured artist, recent Strathmore Artist in Residence, and received a 2014 Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. Two of his songs are featured in the Sundance award-winning documentary, Blood Brother. He received a 2011 DCCAH Young Artist Grant to help fund his first solo album: When Fulvio Finds Celeste, four songs of which received European and Australian radio. Wytold is also actively composing and performing several commissioned works with the acclaimed contemporary dance company, Christopher K Morgan & Artists. In addition, Wytold teaches alternative cello lessons and co-leads ‘Classical Hip-Hop’ educational programs with GRAMMY-nominated progressive hip-hop artist, Christylez Bacon. Wytold and Christylez will perform with the National Symphony Orchestra at Echo Stage on January 9, 2015.
Collaborations & Projects
Upcoming performance on Friday Feb 27 @ 9:30PM, featuring classical remixes and rap covers as part of the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival 2015.Read More
The National Symphony Orchestra performed two of Wytold's original pieces with Wytold as a featured soloist, along with Christylez Bacon and DJ Stylus.Read More
Talented musicians on a variety of instruments come together to form Wytold's original rock-chamber ensemble, recently featured at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Their next project: "Biggie, Beethoven, Busta, and Bach" at the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival.Read More
Christylez Bacon is a GRAMMY-nominated progressive hip-hop artist from Southeast DC. Together, he and Wytold lead "Classical Hip-Hop" educational programs through Class Acts Arts.Read More
Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (CKM&A) is a contemporary dance company whose work features several of Wytold's original compositions. Wytold is actively composing for 2 even-length CKM&A works.Read More
The Sundance Award-winning documentary film about a group of children in India infected with HIV. The film features two of Wytold's original songs - "Going For It" and "American Dreams".Read More
Artist in Residence at the Strathmore Performing Arts Center for the 2012-2013 season.Read More
A global photographic collaboration with Gideon Mendel and the UCLA Art & Global Health Center.Read More