Alisa Weilerstein


Alisa Weilerstein, who was born in 1982 into a musical family in Rochester, New York, was four when she began playing the cello. She studied with Richard Weiss at the Cleveland Institute of Music, while at the same time earning a degree in Russian history at Columbia University in New York City. At the age of 13 she performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Cleveland Orchestra, and in 1997 she made her Carnegie Hall debut. Early on Weilerstein began winning major awards, including the Avery Fisher Career Grant (2000), the Leonard Bernstein Award (2006), and the Martin E. Segal Prize of Lincoln Center (2008). Since then she has collaborated with many renowned orchestras in the United States and Europe, as well as with such major conductors as Daniel Barenboim (who conducted her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic), Gustavo Dudamel, Christoph Eschenbach, Pablo Heras-Casado, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, and Matthias Pintscher. She devotes a significant part of her work to contemporary music. At the New York Philharmonic Biennial in 2014 she gave the premiere of Pintscher’s Reflections on Narcissus, and in May 2016 she premiered Pascal Dusapin’s new Cello Concerto Outscape with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Additional performances in the 2015-16 season were with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  the London Symphony Orchestra, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra. Weilerstein’s recording of the cello concertos of Carter and Elgar, which she made with the Staatskapelle Berlin under Daniel Barenboim, was named Recording of the Year by BBC Music Magazine. Her most recent release is a recording of cello sonatas by Rachmaninoff and Chopin.

August 2016