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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.
She has appeared with all of the major orchestras throughout the United States and Europe with conductors including Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Andrew Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Manfred Honeck, Marek Janowski, Paavo Järvi, Jeffrey Kahane, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Ludovic Morlot, Peter Oundjian, Matthias Pintscher, Yuri Temirkanov, Osmo Vänskä, Simone Young, and David Zinman.
Weilerstein’s 2011-12 season includes return engagements with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Minnesota and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles and New York Philharmonics, and the Hamburg Philharmonic. In November and December 2011 she toured Australia, appearing with the Melbourne, West Australian, and Sydney Symphonies. During this tour period she will make her debut with the Seoul Philharmonic in Korea. In May 2012 she will make her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.
A major milestone in Weilerstein’s career took place in May 2010 when she performed Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Daniel Barenboim in Oxford, England for the orchestra’s 2010 European Concert. This concert was televised live to an audience of millions worldwide and also released on DVD by EuroArts. Weilerstein will record this concerto with Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle in April 2012, pairing this work with Elliott Carter’s Cello Concerto, for her debut Decca Classics release.
In 2009, Alisa 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. A month later she was the soloist on a tour of Venezuela with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, led by Gustavo Dudamel. She has subsequently made numerous return visits to Venezuela to teach and perform with the orchestra as part of its famed El Sistema program of music education.
Alisa Weilerstein’s Cleveland Orchestra debut was in October 1995, at age 13, playing the Tchaikovsky “Rococo” Variations. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony in March 1997. 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 Weilerstein, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine, became a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For more information on Alisa Weilerstein, please visit her fan page on Facebook.