Baroque Cello Master Class with Paul Dwyer | Lessonface

Baroque Cello Master Class with Paul Dwyer

paul dwyer baroque cello
International cellist and renowned teacher Paul Dwyer will be teaching an online baroque cello master class series. Students can attend live & online or in person. All class sessions are recorded for later review by enrolled students. 


Session 1: Intro to Baroque Music and Historical Performance.  For beginners through advanced players. What are the defining characteristics of the music of the Baroque period (1600-1750)?  Why and how do we want to play this music differently than, say, Romantic or contemporary music?  What’s the deal with Historical Performance?  Paul will talk you through these issues and answer any additional questions that come up.  Then, you’ll learn how to hold the cello ‘baroque-style’ and work on bow technique. Recommended reading: Judy Tarling, Baroque String Playing ‘for ingenious learners’

Session 2: Playing Continuo.  For intermediate to advanced cellists. This is what baroque cellists end up doing about 98% of the time: playing bass lines!  Sounds simple, but there are a lot of things to consider when trying to be a desirable continuo player: the harmony, the character of the piece, the other musicians you are supporting (singer, violin, flute?) and the other continuo instruments you’re playing with (harpsichord, organ, and/or plucked instruments such as lute or theorbo), to name just a few.

Session 3: Baroque Cello Sonatas.  For intermediate to advanced cellists.  We will explore some cello repertoire from the 17th and 18th centuries.  We’ll cover the most important national styles of the era: Italian and French.

Session 4: The Bach Suites.  For intermediate to advanced cellists.  You’ve all been waiting for it!  Paul will help you see the Bach Suites for solo cello in a new light.  We’ll discuss issues such as rhetoric, articulations, slurs and bowings, and the characteristics of the various dance movements.


Cellist Paul Dwyer brings to life everything from early music on baroque cello to brand new works by young composers. He has been the prize-winner of numerous national and international competitions and is the recipient of the Javits Fellowship and Presser Award.

Quickly gaining the reputation as one of the leading baroque cellists in the US, Paul has performed with Monica Huggett, Ton Koopman, Jordi Savall and Pavlo Beznosiuk, among others.  He was invited to perform at the summer festival Dans Les Jardins de William Christie with Les Arts Florissants in France, and went on tour to Japan, Singapore and Myanmar with Masaaki Suzuki.  Paul is co-founder of the Diderot String Quartet, ACRONYM and The Colonials.

After completing his Bachelor of Music at the Oberlin Conservatory, Paul continued his studies at the University of Michigan, where he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts and served as teaching assistant to Richard Aaron.  As a Fulbright Fellow, Paul studied privately with Anner Bylsma and Frances-Marie Uitti in Amsterdam.  He recently completed additional graduate studies in Historical Performance at Juilliard with Phoebe Carrai.

Growing up in Vienna, Austria, and Munich, Germany, Paul originally wanted to play the double bass, but was told he was too short. His explorations on the cello began soon thereafter; as a teenager, he co-founded a cello quartet dedicated to heavy metal music and premiered Prelude for Cello and Didgeridoo by and with Dean Wilmington. Paul now lives in Brooklyn.  In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer, biking, and baking.

Interested in private lessons with Paul Dwyer? Book here.


The four sessions will be held on Tuesdays, March 10, March 17, March 31, and April 7.

Please note the gap between the 3/17 and 3/31 sessions. 

The live sessions are also recorded for later review by enrolled students.


Session 1: March 10 – Introduction to Baroque Music and Historical Performance; Basic Set-Up and Bow Technique
Session 2: March 17 – Playing Continuo
Session 3: March 31 – Baroque Cello Sonatas
Session 4: April 7 – The Bach Suites


Attend online via video conference OR at Michiko Studios, at 149 W 46th St., New York, NY. Re-watch online for lifetime afterward.


Session 1 is open to beginning to advanced students.  Sessions 2-4 are most appropriate for intermediate to advanced cellists.  No previous experience with baroque music or baroque cello required.  Though this class will be cello-centric, it will also be informative for other string players, especially Session 1.​


You do not need to have a baroque cello set-up to take this class.  While part of Historical Performance is using historical instruments (gut strings, no endpin, lighter bow etc.), it is way more important how you play whatever instrument you do have.  Everything we do in this class will work fine on your regular, 'modern' cello and bow.  If you want to approach the historical equipment without breaking the bank, try getting a baroque bow to play on your regular cello.  This will make a big difference already!


These are live classes that are taught from Michiko Studios in midtown Manhattan. Students can attend by physically coming into the studio (in-studio) OR over the Lessonface high performing video conference platform. Students can connect to the online platform using a tablet or computer with reliable internet. The live sessions are recorded so that all enrolled students and auditors can review the class sessions following the live class. Class recordings will be available for viewing within 48 hours of the live class.


If you have questions, please contact us by emailing or by calling 1-800-211-7058.