Cole Wagner was born in Tokyo Japan in 1994 and moved with his family at age 3 to Seattle, where he began classical music studies and took up cello at a Suzuki program there. After another relocation to the New York area, he continued his learning at the Hoff Barthelson Music School and studied with a number of prominent teachers there including members of the Julliard Preparatory Division, the Mannes School of Music, the Orchestra of St. Lukes, and the Steve Reich Ensemble.While at Hoff Barthelson, Cole played in multiple masterclasses for Carter Brey, principal cellist of the NY Philharmonic, and Irene Sharp, noted cello pedagogue. Additionally, Cole attended two full summer sessions at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, and a session of the Amati Music Festival in upstate New York.
After finishing high school Cole continued his musical studies, studying with Andre Emelianoff of the Juilliard School and cellist with the Da Capo Chamber Players and John Feeney, principal bassist of the Orchestra of St. Lukes, and participating in chamber ensembles at the Julliard Evening Division, Mannes NEXT, and the Orchestra of St. Lukes AMP and Alaria Chamber Music Projects. Cole was selected in the spring of 2015 to accompany Upbeat NYC on a historic trip to Caracas, Venezuela to learn and play with several El Sistema nucleus there under the baton of Maestro Gustavo Dudamel. In the fall of 2015, he was selected to play with the AYO Camerata accompanying Maestro Daniel Binelli of Astor Piazzola’s New Tango Sextet and Polly Ferman, noted Uruguayan concert pianist in the opening concert of the New York Latin American Cultural Festival at Merkin Hall. Additionally, Cole has also played with his brothers on the stage of Radio City Music Hall multiple times as part of the MSG Garden of Dreams project. He has also worked with Jacqui Danilow, bassist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Cole is currently an undergraduate at Columbia University, working towards a dual degree in music and film. He is a member of the Columbia University Orchestra and plays in the Columbia University Gagaku medieval Japanese music program. Cole teaches, coaches, and assists at WHIN Music Project, Upbeat NYC, and Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and plays in a trio with his brother Iain, piano, and Vaughn, violin. Cole plays cello, double bass, orchestral snare drum, and conducts. He plays on a 1994 Oliver Radke bass lent on extremely generous scholarship from the Virtu Foundation, made possible by Jessica Garand of Opportunity Music Project.