“A young cellist whose emotionally resonant performances of both traditional and contemporary music have earned her international recognition, … Weilerstein is a consummate performer, combining technical precision with impassioned musicianship,” stated the MacArthur Foundation, when awarding American cellist Alisa Weilerstein a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship.
In the 2015-16 season, Alisa Weilerstein gives the world premieres of two major new concerto commissions. With the Chicago Symphony she premieres Pascal Dusapin’s Outscape, before giving its first European performances with the Stuttgart and Paris Opera Orchestras. Similarly, under the composer’s leadership, she premieres Matthias Pintscher’s concerto with the Danish National Orchestra, and reprises it at Cologne’s WDR Symphony. Other orchestral highlights include Elgar with the London Symphony; Prokofiev with the Czech Philharmonic; Shostakovich and Haydn with the Bavarian Radio Symphony; Schumann with the Orchestre de Paris; Dutilleux with Hamburg’s NDR Symphony; Hindemith with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony; Tchaikovsky with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; and Barber with Washington DC’s National Symphony. Following October’s release of their duo album debut on Decca, she reunites with pianist Inon Barnatan for U.S. and European recital tours.
As an exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, Weilerstein’s discography includes Dvorák’s Cello Concerto; Solo, her compilation of unaccompanied 20th-century cello music; and Elgar and Elliott Carter’s cello concertos with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin, which was named BBC Music’s “Recording of the Year 2013.”
Weilerstein’s career milestones include an emotionally devastating account of Elgar’s concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic and Barenboim in Oxford, England, and a performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. An ardent champion of new music, she has worked with Osvaldo Golijov and Pintscher and premiered works by Lera Auerbach and Joseph Hallman. She appears at major music festivals worldwide, and regularly collaborates with Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the El Sistema education program.
Weilerstein, whose honors include Lincoln Center’s 2008 Martin E. Segal prize and the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award, is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Columbia University. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she is a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.