new works for cello alone

During the COVID-19 pandemic, musicians continue to find ways to create art and connect to each other and audiences old and new. I have been working with composer friends on a hopeful little project: the result is new short pieces for solo cello which I am recording from home during the the Stay-at-Home order, and hope to perform many times going forward.

Make sure you don't miss a piece:

Daniel Pesca: In Solitude


I wrote my solo cello work In Solitude in March and April of 2020, as the COVID-19 crisis was seizing our world. Suddenly, we were asked to maintain social distance, and to shelter in place in our homes. The ambient feelings of that time, uncertainty and anxiety, are reflected in the emotional states the piece moves through: from the searching, plaintive opening through the mind-racing quality of the perpetual motion (which constitutes the middle section of the piece) to the sense of time slowing down towards the end. The piece was composed for Paul Dwyer’s project “COVID-19: Contagious Solitude,” and is dedicated to Paul with gratitude for his artistry and friendship.


Daniel and I first collaborated in 2010 at the Aspen Music Festival. I was a current and he was a future member of the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble but together we ended up performing all three sets of Beethoven variations for piano and cello. Little did we know we would both end up in Chicago several years later: Daniel as a professor at University of Chicago and myself playing at Lyric Opera. We've been playing recitals together ever since – even though he's moved on to a great teaching job at University of Maryland Baltimore County. I'm happy to discover the composer side of Daniel – which is no less distinguished than the pianist side – especially during this difficult time when making music with friends isn't possible in the ways we're familiar with. 

Jonathan Dawe: Before the Hour of Terce


Program note coming soon.


The highly innovative and conjured world of composer Jonathan Dawe joins Baroque imagery with a modernist mix, cast with dynamic dramatic flair. Cited for his "quirky, fascinating modernist variations on earlier styles" (Time Out) his music involves the recasting of energies and sounds of the past into decisively new expressions, through compositional workings based upon fractal geometry. Recent pieces and productions have been described as “music of such vitality and drama” (New York Times) "a brake-squealing collision of influence" (Boston Globe) and "bound to be provocative." (Time Out)  Described as “one of our most talented and distinctive – yet little-known – contemporary composers” (Seen and Heard International.)

© 2020 by Paul Dwyer