In the 2018-19 season, Alisa Weilerstein releases Transfigured Night on the Pentatone label, in which she is joined by Norway’s Trondheim Soloists performing Haydn’s First and Second Cello Concertos and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht. In the spring, she returns to Verklärte Nacht, this time in a trio version, when she tours Europe and the US with pianist and frequent collaborator pianist Inon Barnatan, violinist Sergey Khachatryan, and percussionist Colin Currie. Between these bookends, she gives performances of Shostakovich’s Second Cello Concerto and tours the US playing Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the Czech Philharmonic led by Semyon Bychkov. She also performs the Schumann Concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and gives accounts of Saint-Saëns’s First Cello Concerto, Britten’s Symphony for Cello and Orchestra, Richard Strauss’s Don Quixote, and Bloch’s Schelomo in cities from San Diego to Vienna. Finally, she gives two performances of Matthias Pintscher’s new cello concerto Un despertar (An Awakening), with the composer leading both the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Symphony. In the midst of her orchestral engagements are five solo performances of Bach’s complete cello suites, in Beverly Hills, Boston, Paris, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and Berkeley.
Born in 1982, Alisa Weilerstein discovered her love for the cello at just two-and-a-half, giving her first public performance at age four. At age thirteen, she played Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations for her Cleveland Orchestra debut, and in 1997 she made her first Carnegie Hall appearance with the New York Youth Symphony. A graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Weiss, she also holds a degree in history from Columbia University. Ms. Weilerstein’s career milestones include an account of Elgar’s concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic and Daniel Barenboim in Oxford, England, and a performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. An ardent champion of new music, she has collaborated on multiple projects with Osvaldo Golijov and Matthias Pintscher, and she has premiered works by Pascal Dusapin, Lera Auerbach, and Joseph Hallman.
Ms. Weilerstein’s honors include a 2011 MacArthur Fellowship, Lincoln Center’s 2008 Martin E. Segal Prize, and the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award. In 2008, Ms. Weilerstein, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine, became a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She made her San Francisco Symphony debut in 2001.