American cellist Alisa Weilerstein has attracted widespread attention worldwide for playing that combines a natural virtuosic command and technical precision with impassioned musicianship. The intensity of her playing has regularly been lauded, as has the spontaneity and sensitivity of her interpretations. In September 2011 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and in 2010 she became an exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics, the first cellist to be signed by the prestigious label in over 30 years. Her debut album, set for release in November 2012, will feature the Elliott Carter Concerto and her performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto with Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle.
She has appeared with all of the major orchestras throughout the United States and Europe with conductors including Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Paul Daniel, Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Paavo Järvi, Jeffrey Kahane, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Ludovic Morlot, Tadaaki Otaka, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, Yuri Temirkanov, Juraj Valchau, Osmo Vänskä, Simone Young and David Zinman. She has also appeared at major music festivals throughout the world as a soloist, recitalist and as a chamber musician.
Ms. Weilerstein’s 2012-13 season includes engagements with the Chicago Symphony and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and a United States tour with pianist Inon Barnatan and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. In September she will return to Germany to perform the Elliott Carter Cello Concerto with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin. She will then appear with conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the Philadelphia Orchestra (Elgar Cello Concerto), conductor Alexander Shelley and the Pacific Symphony (Dvorak Cello Concerto), and conductor Lionel Bringuier and the Atlanta Symphony (Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1). Ms. Weilerstein will also feature Alejandro Golijov’s Azul with Rossen Milanov and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra following a tour with the National Symphony Orchestra in May 2013.
In 2009, Ms. Weilerstein was one of four artists invited by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, to participate in a widely-applauded and high profile classical music event at the White House that included student workshops hosted by the First Lady, and playing for guests including President Obama and the First Family.
In 2008 Ms. Weilerstein was awarded Lincoln Center’s Martin E. Segal prize for exceptional achievement and she was named the winner of the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award. She received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000 and was selected for two prestigious young artists programs in 2000-01; the ECHO (European Concert Hall Organization) “Rising Stars” recital series and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two.
Alisa Weilerstein, who was born in 1982, made her Cleveland Orchestra debut at age 13, playing the Tchaikovsky “Rococo” Variations. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony in March 1997. Ms. Weilerstein is a graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Weiss. In May 2004, she graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in Russian History. In November 2008 Ms. Weilerstein became a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For more information on Ms. Weilerstein, please visit her fan page on Facebook.