Conductor, pianist and composer Giulio Cilona (26) is currently working as Kapellmeister at the Hannover Staatsoper, where he has conducted over 50 performances, including the new production of Le Nozze di Figaro (Stage director: Lydia Steier, live-streamed on Operavision), Hänsel und Gretel, Cosi fan Tutte, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L’Elisir d’Amore, Marschner’s Der Vampyr, Sweeney Todd and the german Premiere of Leonard Evers’ Humanoid. During the season 22/23, he will conduct Le Dialogues des Carmélites, Tosca, La Bohème, Die Zirkusprinzessin, Monteverdi’s Orfeo and the revival of Le Nozze di Figaro at the Hannover Staatsoper as well as guest engagements for Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Teatro Aligheri di Ravenna and Teatro Sociale di Rovigo, Offenbach’s L’Ile de Tulipatan at the Opéra Royal de Wallonie (Liège), La Donna del Lago at the Buxton International Festival and Mon Mozart à moi, a symphonic concert with the Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse and Jean-Francois Zygel.

He was awarded the 2nd prize at the International Opera Conducting Competition 2022 in the Opera Royal de Wallonie-Liège (Belgium). Since 2021, he is also a conducting fellow at the Dirigentenforum (Deutscher Musikrat) which gave him the opportunity to work with orchestras such as the Badische Staatskapelle Karlsruhe, Neubrandenburg Philharmonie, Bad Reichenhall Philharmonie and with soloists such as Tobias Feldmann, Friedrich Thiele (Solo-Cellist at the Dresden Semperoper).

Giulio completed his studies in orchestra conducting at the Mozarteum Universität Salzburg with Bruno Weil and was awarded the Bernhard-Paumgartner-Medaille by the Stiftung Mozarteum in 2019. Already during his studies, Giulio worked as an assistant and repetiteur for the Salzburger Oster- and Sommerfestspiele in collaboration with the Dresden Semperoper and as an assistant to the General Music Director at the Salzburg Landestheater. Giulio also overtook numerous opera performances at the Mozarteum such as AlcinaLa Finta SempliceLes Contes d’Hoffmann, Philippe Boesmans’ opera Reigen with the Österreichisches Ensemble für neue Musik and concert versions of Don Giovanni and Der Freischutz. He also worked closely with the Opéra Studio de Genève on Rigoletto, Tannhäuser, Cosi Fan Tutte and Madama Butterfly.

 Giulio also studied at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover (Master Piano Konzertfach) and at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, where he graduated with a Magna cum Lauda mention on his 3 Bachelor’s degrees in Piano, Conducting, Composition, Counterpoint and Fugue. From the age of 13, he studied at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie (Namur, Belgium) in the exceptional young talent program.

As a composer, Giulio premiered his Concertino for piano and orchestra at age 18 at the Europa Musa Festival and conducted the premiere of his miniature theatre piece Le Petit Chaperon Rouge with the Odysseia Ensemble in Brussels. Giulio recently conducted his compositions at the Théâtre Royal de Namur with the symphonic choirs and Orchestre de La Concorde, a total formation of over 200 musicians.

As a pianist soloist, he performed Beethoven 2nd Concerto, Gershwin Concerto in F  (live-streamed on EuroClassical Planet), Addinsell Warsaw Concerto, Stravinsky Petrushka and Mozart Piano Concerto Nr. 21 with the Wratislawia Chamber Orchestra (Poland), Limburg Youth Orchestra, Europa Musa Orchestra among others. He took part in several piano competitions and was awarded prizes at Aarhus International Piano Competition, Concours Andrée Charlier, Prix des Jeunes de Verviers, Concours Rotary Breughel (BruxellesFlagey Studio4) and Concours Cavatine after which he was offered a recital tour in Morocco by the Rotary-Club Namur at age 11.

As parallel instrumental practice, Giulio studied harpsichord and organ and has a big interest in historical instrumental practice. He took part as a continuo player in numerous oratorios and baroque operas. Giulio performed on many renowned instruments such as the organs in the Cathedrâle Saint-Nicolas de Genève, the ‘Franz Liszt Organ’ at the Fribourg Cathedral, Basilica San Lorenzo di Firenze, Basilique de Verdun, Cathedrâle du Sablon de Bruxelles, etc. He also studied violin and trumpet in his early years.

Giulio speaks French, Italian, English and German fluently.

 

  • Giulio Cilona

    Giulio Cilona

  • Giulio Cilona

    Giulio Cilona

  • Giulio Cilona

    Giulio Cilona

  • Giulio Cilona

    Giulio Cilona

  • Giulio Cilona

    Giulio Cilona

  • 2

    Aarhus Piano Competition – Photo by Tom Mckenzie

  • Giulio Cilona

    Giulio Cilona

  • Giulio Cilona
  • Giulio Cilona

    Giulio Cilona

Critics 

  • Nozze di Figaro, Hannover (January 2022)

Was Dirigent Giulio Cilona an diesem Abend der Staatsoper Hannover mit Mozarts Figaro an musikalische Warhaftigkeit erreicht hat, das lässt vermuten, dass man einen so guten Dirigenten wohl kaum lange in Hannover halten können. Cilona zeigte ein außerordentliches Gespür für das richtige Pointieren, Phrasieren und Artikulieren dieser Musik. Er spitzte genauso zu, wie er perfekt ausbalancierte. (Cellesche Zeitung, 22.01.2022) – Le Nozze di Figaro, Premiere in Hannover.

Translation: What the conductor Giulio Cilona achieved in terms of musical authenticity on this evening at the Hanover State Opera with Mozart’s Figaro suggests that such a great conductor can hardly be kept in Hanover for long. Cilona showed an extraordinary feeling for the correct accents, phrasing and articulation of this music. He brings in spark but also a perfect sound balance. (Cellesche Zeitung, 22.01.2022)

https://www.kulturfeder.de/rezension/hochzeit-des-figaro-hannover-1006580.html?fbclid=IwAR0RM5drRymLCeGn0nCWgx-Vy9qnTf2RHVuEU_AZlYdBWupZKYmAJD8fkno

Aber nicht nur auf der Bühne werden musikalische Glanzstunden geboten, auch aus dem Orchestergraben tönt es geradezu fantastisch. Dort begeistert Giulio Cilona am Dirigentenpult durch seine außerordentliche Feinfühligkeit, mit der er das Niedersächsische Staatsorchester durch Mozarts Partitur führt. Das Orchester spielt klanglich strahlend und elegant, doch ebenso markant in den Phrasierungen, was bereits in der Ouvertüre deutlich wird und das Publikum auf einen musikalisch wertvollen Opernabend vorbereitet. (Kultur Feder, 24.01)

Translation: Not only on stage musical highlights are offered, it also sounds fantastic from the orchestra pit. There Giulio Cilona inspires at the conductor’s podium with his extraordinary sensitivity with which he leads the Lower Saxony State Orchestra through Mozart’s score. The orchestra plays brilliantly and elegantly. And the phrasing is just as striking, which clearly already from the Overture prepares the audience for a musically valuable evening at the opera. (Kultur Feder, 24.01)

Revolution ohne Ideale

Die musikalische Seite der Aufführung besticht maßgeblich durch das souveräne Dirigat von Giulio Cilona. Die Tempi sind extrem schnell genommen. Dabei wird jedweder überzogene Hochdruck oder eine etwaige Atemlosigkeit der Sänger oder Orchestermusiker vermieden. Vielmehr gelingt eine Dynamik in Spiel und Gesang, die die komisch-verwirrenden mit den verstörenden Elementen des Geschehens auf überraschende Weise verbinden. Es ist frappierend zu hören, dass eine solche hohe Meisterschaft von den Solisten und vom Orchester den gesamten Abend über durchgehalten werden kann. Das Niedersächsische Staatsorchester Hannover übertrifft sich hier selbst. (O-Ton, 20.01)

Translation: The musical side of the performance captivates significantly through the sovereign conducting of Giulio Cilona. The tempos are taken extremely quickly, yet any high pressure or possible breathlessness of the singers or orchestra musicians is avoided. Rather, a dynamic in playing and singing succeeds, which combines the comically confusing with the disturbing elements of the action in a surprising way. It is amazing to hear that such a high level of mastery can be maintained by the soloists and the orchestra throughout the evening. The Lower Saxony State Orchestra in Hanover surpasses itself here. (O-Ton, 20.01)

  • Donna del Lago, Buxton (July 2022)

From a musical perspective this was a Donna del Lago to treasure (Bachtrack.com)

Cilona and the orchestra were on strong form. Cilona kept things on a tight rein: speeds were swift, but it all felt as if it flowed naturally. (Robert Hugill)

Giulio Cilona leads the Norther Chamber Orchestra in a well-paced account of the score […] Cilona imbuing the performance with energy where needed, but also giving the arias space to breathe as necessary. If only the production itself kept up with the virtuosic standards of the music this would be a top-notch realisation of Rossini. (Classical Source, Curtis Rogers)

Audio & Videos

Le Nozze di Figaro – Premiere in Hannover State Opera 20.01.22 – Livestream on Operavision

Livestreamed Performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTwwp9BIPyQ&t

Conductor video interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUPNWlCxby4

Haydn – Piano Sonata No.46 in E Major (I) – Recording in Belgium – Giulio Cilona, Piano.

Gershwin – Concerto in F – Norbert Nozy, Conductor – Giulio Cilona, Piano.

Aarhus Piano Competition 2017 – Giulio Cilona, Piano.

M.Ravel “Miroirs”: 4. ‘Alborada del Gracioso’ – Recording in Namur – Giulio Cilona, Piano.