Based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, cellist Julia Wen enjoys an active performing and teaching life.
As a soloist, she performed Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with the Valparaiso University Symphony Orchestra in the States and on tour in China. In addition to regular appearances at local hospitals, homeless shelters, retirement homes, and churches, Ms. Wen recently collaborated with local Baltimore folk rock band, Red Sammy, on their newest album (True Believers). An enthusiastic chamber musician, Julia holds a particular love for cello ensembles. While studying at the Peabody Conservatory, she took advantage of its Creative Access program to recruit fellow cellists. Together, they interacted with and performed ensemble music for hospital, homeless shelter, and retirement communities. During her time in Baltimore, Julia participated in a Naxos recording project of Kevin Puts’ works with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra and Mairin Alsop. She also performed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History as part of Rob Kapilow’s NPR show, “What Makes it Great.” Additional engagements include performances with the Texas Music Festival Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony, and the Aspen Music Festival Concert Orchestra.
Beyond her performing commitments, Julia is an avid teacher. Inspired by her own instructors, Julia is enthusiastic about supporting the next generation of conscientious musicians. She currently teaches cello and music theory at the Music Institute of Chicago, and is a faculty member at the Arlington Heights School District 25 Music for Youth Suzuki program. Past teaching positions include the Peabody Preparatory and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s El-Sistema-inspired program, ORCHKids. A certified Suzuki teacher, Ms. Wen has completed pedagogy training with Jean Dexter and Dr. Tanya Carey. In addition to classroom teaching, Julia writes for the CREDO music blog, a musical organization dedicated to training youth in excellent musicianship and service in the context of Christian fellowship.
Julia earned her Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore with Alan Stepansky, former Associate Principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic. She completed additional studies in Pedagogy with Bai-Chi Chen and Baroque Cello with Dr. John Moran. Ms. Wen finished her Bachelor of Music degree at Roosevelt University with Chicago Symphony Orchestra cellist Richard Hirschl; and was a student of former Lyric Opera of Chicago principal cellist Daniel Morganstern. The teacher who inspired it all, however, was a woman of incomparable talent and dedication: Gilda Barston.Cellist Julia Wen, performer, pedagogue, and outreach advocate, is based in the Chicago Suburbs.