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Beethoven Cello Sonatas with Paul Dwyer and Julia Siciliano
February 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
German-American cellist Paul Dwyer was born in Munster, Indiana, but spent the most formative years of his life (according to Freud) in Vienna, where he decided to play the double bass, but was told he’s too small. At age eight his family moved to Munich, where Paul spent most of his time playing soccer, running subversive school newspapers and transcribing Metallicasongs for a heavy metal cello quartet he formed with his best friends. In 12th grade, he made his opera debut singing the role of Polyphemus in Handel’s Acis and Galatea.
In 2003, Paul followed his roots back to the American Midwest for college, studying at the Oberlin Conservatory (B.M. ’07) and the University of Michigan (M.M. ’08; D.M.A. ’12), where he was the recipient of a Jacob K. Javits Fellowship and a Theodore Presser Award, and served as teaching assistant to Richard Aaron. He also spent a year back in good old Europe as a Fulbright Fellow in Amsterdam, delving into contemporary music with Frances-Marie Uitti and baroque cello with Anner Byslma. In 2013, he completed additional graduate studies in the Historical Performance department of The Juilliard School.
Paul is fortunate to have a rich musical life playing both historical and modern cello. He is a founding member of the Diderot String Quartet and ACRONYM, loves to play chamber music and collaborate with young composers. He is Assistant Principal cello of Lyric Opera of Chicago and teaches cello and chamber music at Notre Dame University.
Award-winning concert pianist, Julia Siciliano has been heralded as a musician with “fabulous creative power” by the Bonn General-Anzeiger. Ms. Siciliano has become a well-respected and anticipated rising talent on the world stage, being invited as a solo artist by many prestigious orchestras, and festivals, most recently with the Orquestra Sinfónica de la Region de Murcia for the MurciArt Music Festival. A winner of many local and international piano competitions, Julia has won top prizes at the Sicily International Piano Competition, Heida Hermanns International Competition, Iowa Piano Competition, and MTNA National Competition. Active as a chamber musician, Julia has been invited to perform on concert series and festivals with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Chamber Players, Basque National Orchestra’s chamber music series “Miramon Matinees”, and the MurciArt Festival in Murcia, Spain. She has given recitals with Metropolitan Opera stars Amanda Pabyan, Eric Owens, and Marina Domashenko, and internationally acclaimed violinists Dmitri Makhtin, Simone Lamsma, and Birgit Kolar.
Julia has an active performing career in both solo and chamber music capacities across stages in North America, Central America, Europe and Asia. She has performed multiple times live on Chicago radio station WFMT, Detroit’s historic Scarab Club, Cincinnati Music Hall, the Bulgarian Consulate in New York City, Teatro Nacional of Gautemala, Palazzo Biscari in Catania, Italy, Parvis de l’église Notre-Dame d’Espérance in Cannes, Deutsche Telekom Headquarters in Bonn, Rachmaninov Hall in Moscow, and Kioi Hall in Tokyo. In the 2019-2020 season, she embarks on a journey of performing the complete Beethoven “accompanied” Sonatas multiple times in the USA, Spain, France, and Austria, in tribute to the great composer’s 250th birthday.
Her debut solo album “Dream Catchers”, a two disc album featuring small scale works by Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Ravel and Debussy, released in 2016 to great acclaim. Fanfare Magazine declared “this release has merit as a career milestone” and leaves “no doubt about the devotion and seriousness of Siciliano’s approach to music.” Gramophone Magazine praised her “fine technique and natural musicality” pinpointing her “masterful delicacy, harmonic motion, and timing” in Debussy’s Images II.
Siciliano holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Nelita True, and the University of Michigan, where she studied with Logan Skelton.