MacArthur Fellows Program

Alisa Weilerstein

Cellist | Class of 2011

Combining technical precision with impassioned musicianship in performances of both traditional and contemporary music and expanding the cello repertoire through collaborations with leading composers.

Title
Cellist
Location
New York, New York
Age
29 at time of award

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.

News About this Fellow
March 14, 2017
"Cereal Numbers: Her First Cello Was Made from a Rice Krispies Box"
The Swampscott Reporter
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
October 20, 2016
"In a Knockout, Weilerstein Wins Over Everyone"
San Francisco Chronicle
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
October 18, 2016
"Fiery Cellist Weilerstein Performing With SF Symphony"
San Francisco Chronicle
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
July 21, 2016
"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
July 21, 2016
"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
June 6, 2016
"Golijov, Duncan, Weilerstein and Barnatan in the Chamber Series"
The Post and Courier
Osvaldo Golijov , 2003 MacArthur Fellow
Alisa Weilerstein, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
View all news

Photos

Photos are owned by the MacArthur Foundation and licensed under a Creative Commons license: CC-BY.
Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

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