Born in 1982, Alisa Weilerstein made her Cleveland Orchestra debut at age thirteen playing the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations. She made her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony in 1997. Ms. Weilerstein is a graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Weiss. In 2004, she graduated from Columbia University in New York with a degree in Russian history. In 2011 she was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
Ms. Weilerstein’s 2013-14 season includes performances of Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Toronto Symphony, Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso with cellists Carter Brey and Daniel Müller-Schott and the New York Philharmonic, and Prokofiev’s Cello Concerto with the Chicago Symphony. She will also perform the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and make her debuts with Orchestra Mozart in Italy and the Osaka Philharmonic in Japan. Ms. Weilerstein is artist-in-residence with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra this season, and she also has engagements with the Boston, Dallas, and Houston symphonies, and the Israel Philharmonic. She will return to the Southbank Center in London to perform with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to perform with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Earlier this season, she gave a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall as part of a European tour with pianist Inon Barnatan.
In 2010 Ms. Weilerstein became an exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics. Her debut album, released in the United States in 2012, features performances of cello concertos of Elgar and Elliott Carter with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin. Her second album, to be released worldwide in 2014, features the Dvořák Cello Concerto with conductor Jiří Bělohlávek and the Czech Philharmonic.
In 2009, Ms. Weilerstein was invited by First Lady Michelle Obama to participate in a classical music event at the White House that included student workshops and concerts. She has toured Venezuela with the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel, and she has taught and performed as part of its El Sistema music education program. In November 2008 Ms. Weilerstein became a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 2001.