MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2011

Alisa Weilerstein

Cellist

New York, NY

Age: 29

Published September 20, 2011

Alisa Weilerstein is a young cellist whose emotionally resonant performances of both traditional and contemporary music have earned her international recognition. As a soloist with some of the world's most prestigious orchestras and conductors, Weilerstein is a consummate performer, combining technical precision with impassioned musicianship. Raised in a family devoted to the arts, she began performing on the cello as a preschooler and made her public debut with a professional orchestra at the age of thirteen. Unlike many musical prodigies, Weilerstein chose to pursue a liberal arts degree while continuing to maintain a busy performance schedule as both a soloist and as a chamber musician, performing and recording with her parents as the Weilerstein Trio. While her repertoire includes the classics, Weilerstein is a tireless advocate for contemporary music, introducing audiences to works by major composers of our day and, in many cases, performing with them. In 2007, she worked with composer Osvaldo Golijov on a complete revision of Azul, his concerto inspired by a Pablo Neruda poem, incorporating orchestra, accordion, and percussion to support cello melodies. Performing in more than one hundred concerts a year, Weilerstein has successfully navigated the transition from child prodigy to accomplished, professional musician and is expanding the cello repertoire through her collaborations with leading contemporary composers.

Alisa Weilerstein received a B.A. (2004) from Columbia University. She has performed with orchestras throughout the United States and internationally, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Boston Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic, among others. In 2009, she was appointed artist-in-residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto is forthcoming with Decca Classics.

Photos

Hi-res photos for download. Photos licensed under a Creative Commons license. Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Right-click on the links below to save the file to your computer.

Alisa Weilerstein In the Media

"A Matter of Interpretation" thumbnail

"A Matter of Interpretation"

The Wall Street Journal
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
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"Prodigy Cellist Arrives in O.C. on Success Wave" thumbnail

"Prodigy Cellist Arrives in O.C. on Success Wave"

From the Orange County Register
Elisa Weilerstein, MacArthur Fellow, 2011
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About the Fellows Program

The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. Learn More

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