MacArthur Fellows Program

MacArthur Fellows / Meet the Class of 2011

Alisa Weilerstein

Cellist

New York, New York

Age: 29 at time of award

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

High-resolution photos for download. Photos are owned by the MacArthur Foundation and licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC-BY. Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Right-click on a link below to save the file to your computer.

Alisa Weilerstein In the Media

"Alsop Leads Novel Glass, Golijov Works with Grant Park Orchestra"

Chicago Sun-Times
Osvaldo Golijov , 2003 MacArthur Fellow
Marin Alsop , 2005 MacArthur Fellow
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
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"From Nature's Wonders to Cello's Spiritual Odyssey, Grant Park Concert Has it All"

Chicago Tribune
Osvaldo Golijov , 2003 MacArthur Fellow
Marin Alsop , 2005 MacArthur Fellow
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
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"Golijov, Duncan, Weilerstein and Barnatan in the Chamber Series"

The Post and Courier
Osvaldo Golijov , 2003 MacArthur Fellow
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
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"Musik und Wohlgefühle" thumbnail

"Musik und Wohlgefühle"

Frankfurter Rundschau
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
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"Grant Park Festival Announces Extensive Summer Lineup"

Chicago Sun-Times
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
Marin Alsop , 2005 MacArthur Fellow
Regina Carter , 2006 MacArthur Fellow
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MacArthur Announces Performances, Discussion to Celebrate 35 Years of Iconic Fellowship Program thumbnail

MacArthur Announces Performances, Discussion to Celebrate 35 Years of Iconic Fellowship Program

Most of the events will be open to the public for free or at low cost. Video of many events will be made available online. Read More

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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