Guest Cellist Julian Schwarz to Perform Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the Toledo Symphony Nov. 22 and 23

Published Wednesday, November 13, 2019 10:00 am

Cellist Julian Schwarz will perform with the Toledo Symphony on November 22 and 23 at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle Theater. Schwarz will perform Antonin Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor, the last solo concerto every written by the composer. He will perform the piece on his Neapolitan cello made by famed Italian instrument maker Gennaro Gagliano in 1743.

“The instrument is actually older that the music, which was written in 1895,” says Felecia Kanney, Director of Marketing for the Toledo Symphony. “The sound has this old-soul charm to it that we don’t hear from instruments made today. It’s a testament to the craftsmanship of Gagliano. Combine that with Julian’s incredible interpretation of one of the most beloved concertos ever written for the cello, and you get music that can rip your heart out.”

The program opens with Smetana’s Moldau, the second movement of a six-movement suite titled Má vlast. The Moldau opens with a light, rippling music played by a pair of flutes, symbolizing two mountain springs. The springs ultimately combine to become a mighty river of the same name in the Czech Republic.

The second piece on the program is The Mississippi Suite composed in 1934 by Florence Price, the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer, and the first to have a composition played by a major American orchestra. Like The Moldau, the listener travels on the Mississippi River, passing towns along the way. Quotations from the spirituals, like Get Down, Moses and Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen, fade in and out as the travels continue. Last year, Florence Price once again made national news when her thought-to-have been lost scores were discovered in an abandoned home in Illinois.

“The first two pieces on the program are from different parts of the world: the Czech Republic and America,” says Merwin Siu, Artistic Administrator for the Toledo Symphony. “Dvořák’s Cello Concerto brings the worlds closer to one another as it was written by Dvořák, a Czech composer, while in New York City for his third term as the Director of the National Conservatory.”

“Concertgoers may remember Julian from the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s Cello Concerto with the Toledo Symphony back in 2017,” says Kanney. “We are thrilled to have him join the Toledo Symphony once again on the Peristyle stage.”

Julian Schwarz joins the Toledo Symphony for two performances of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto on Friday, November 22, 2019 and Saturday, November 23, 2019, 8 PM at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle Theater. Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased online at, by calling 419.246.8000, or visiting the box office at 1838 Parkwood Avenue.

For more information, contact Felecia Kanney, Director of Marketing for the Toledo Symphony at

About Julian Schwarz

Julian Schwarz was born to a multi-generational musical family in 1991. After making his concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Seattle Symphony and his father Gerard Schwarz on the podium, he made his US touring debut with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Since then he has led an active career as soloist. Internationally, he has made his Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony, his Mexican debuts with the Boca del Rio Philharmonic in Veracruz and the Mexico City Philharmonic with frequent collaborator Jorge Mester, and his Hong Kong debut at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival. He has also appeared at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the Verbier festival in Switzerland. 

As a recitalist, he has performed at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the Rosenegg Castle in Steyr Austria, on the Embassy Series in Washington DC, at the National Arts Club, University Club, Musical Club of Hartford, Boulder Bach Festival, and for International Concerts of the Desert in Palm Springs. In March 2017, Mr. Schwarz embarked on an extensive 10-recital tour of China with duo partner Marika Bournaki. A committed chamber musician, he is a member of the New York based Frisson Ensemble (a mixed nonet of winds and strings), the New York Classical Players, and the Mile-End Trio with violinist Jeff Multer and Ms. Bournaki. He performs frequently at Bargemusic in Brooklyn with violinist Mark Peskanov, on the Frankly Music Series in Milwaukee with violinist Frank Almond, as a member of the Palladium Chamber Players in St Petersburg FL, and has been the featured young artist at both the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival. 

Julian Schwarz is an ardent supporter of new music, and has premiered concertos by Richard Danielpour and Samuel Jones (recorded with the All Star Orchestra for public television in 2012, subsequently released as a DVD on Naxos). In the 17-18 season, he gave the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s first Cello Concerto with a consortium of five orchestras. Other premieres include the US Premiere of Dobrinka Tabakova’s Cello Concerto with the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, and recital works by Paul Frucht, Gavin Fraser, Alex Weiser, and Ofer Ben-Amots.

Schwarz serves as Assistant Professor of Cello at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University (Winchester, VA). Other faculty appointments include artist-in-residence at the Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia, Canada), faculty teaching assistant to Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School, and faculty at the Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC). At the Eastern Music Festival, he runs programming for the Tuesday evening chamber music series.   

In 2013, Julian Schwarz won 1st prize in the professional cello division of the Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong, and in 2016 won 1st prize at the Boulder International Chamber Music Competition’s “The Art of Duo” with Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki.

He plays on a Neapolitan cello made by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743, is an active contributor to Strings Magazine’s Artist Blog, and sits on the music committee of the National Arts Club. A Pirastro artist, he endorses and plays the "Perpetual" medium set of cello strings. 

About the Toledo Symphony

The Toledo Symphony is a community-supported organization of professional musicians and teachers who deliver quality performance and music education for all.

Formed in 1943 as The Friends of Music and incorporated in 1951 as the Toledo Orchestra Association, Inc., the Toledo Symphony Orchestra has grown from a core group of twenty-two part-time musicians to a regional orchestra that employs sixty-nine professional musicians who consider the Toledo Symphony their primary employer, as well as numerous extra players annually as repertoire demands.

On January 1, 2019, the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Ballet officially merged to form the Toledo Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), a new non-profit organization dedicated to providing exceptional live music and dance performances and education for the region. This partnership is one of only few in the nation, and strives to create new and invigorating programs, provide cost and revenue synergies in operations, and integrate the arts through shared educational missions.

The Toledo Symphony reaches more than 260,000 individuals annually through performances and education programs. The series concerts (Masterworks, Pops, Chamber, Mozart in the Afternoon, and Family Series) are the critical underpinning of the orchestra’s artistic mission and regularly draw people from 135 postal zip codes. Education programs, student performances, and community concerts are held in schools, neighborhood churches, performing arts centers, and community facilities throughout the region; many are offered at no charge or provided at a reduced fee to help expand participation.

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