UMass Dartmouth Faculty Paula Cienniwa
PAUL CIENNIWA: Biography
Cited by the Huffington Post for his “inner sense of creative flow, fueled by an abundance of musical imagination and desire,” harpsichordist Paul Cienniwa has a burgeoning career as a soloist, recording artist, and ensemble player. He strives to bring the harpsichord to new audiences by creating a spiritual communion through focused interpretations intensified by memorized repertoire.
His playing of Francis Poulenc’s Concert champêtre was heralded by the New Bedford Standard-Times as “exquisite—no drama, no posturing—just consummate artistry and a superb performance of a marvelous concerto.” For his CD of the Bach Viola da Gamba Sonatas with cellist Audrey Sabattier-Cienniwa (Whaling City Sound), KBAQ radio (Phoenix, AZ) called his ability to accompany "spot-on...perfect". His recording with Grammy Award-winning uilleann piper Jerry O'Sullivan was called "drop-dead gorgeous" and named one of the top ten Irish traditional albums of 2010 by The Irish Echo.
A frequent chamber music collaborator, he played the complete Bach Violin Sonatas on Chicago’s WFMT radio with baroque violinist Rachel Barton Pine. As an orchestral continuo player, he plays with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Providence Singers and Mastersingers by the Sea.
A resident of Fall River, Massachusetts, Paul Cienniwa leads an active musical life in southeastern Massachusetts and the Boston/Providence regions. For the 2012-13 season, he is serving as Chorus Master for the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra. He has led Sine Nomine choral ensemble since 2006 and the chorus at Framingham State University since 2007. As organist and conductor, he is music director at First Church in Boston, where he leads the fully professional First Church Choir and can be heard weekly on WERS (88.9 FM) Boston.