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MacArthur Fellow Alisa Weilerstein Plays Shostakovich with Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall (April 23); Tours with Inon Barnatan (April 16–May 1)

It was in Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto that MacArthur fellow Alisa Weilerstein prompted the Los Angeles Times to marvel: “Weilerstein’s cello is her id. She doesn’t give the impression that making music involves will at all. She and the cello seem simply to be one and the same.” Now, on April 23, Weilerstein undertakes the Russian composer’s Second Cello Concerto at New York’s Carnegie Hall, where she reunites with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and principal conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, longstanding collaborators with whom she most recently joined forces last summer to cap her week-long Caramoor residency with an account of the Elgar concerto. While in the States this spring, Weilerstein also rejoins another longtime musical partner, pianist Inon Barnatan, for a five-city duo recital tour. Culminating with an appearance in Boston’s “Celebrity Series,” the tour showcases the world premiere performances of DreamLog, composed for the duo by 2014 Grammy Award-nominee Joseph Hallman, and their own new transcription of Schubert’s Fantasia in C (April 16–May 1).

Weilerstein has long championed the work of Joseph Hallman (b.1979), who was recently featured as one of “100 Composers Under 40” by WQXR, and the Philadelphia-born composer has already written multiple pieces for her, including a cello concerto that she premiered with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. Of his new composition DreamLog, Hallman explains:

“The work may be ordered in any way the performer chooses. The performer may also choose to perform one movement, or any combination of any number of movements, or all of the movements. An analog: a choose-your-own-adventure book. … Ideally, this work should be performed in toto and in as dark a space as possible. The audience should feel free to meditate or visualize what they choose with closed eyes.”

DreamLog was written expressly for Weilerstein to perform with Inon Barnatan, a pianist with whom the New York Times considers her “temperamentally well matched” in both “poise and passion.” With a program that also includes sonatas by Beethoven and Rachmaninoff, their upcoming spring tour kicks off at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC (April 16), with subsequent dates in Charlotte, NC (April 17), San Juan, PR (April 18), and Sonoma State University, CA (April 26), before drawing to a close in Boston’s “Celebrity Series” at Jordan Hall (May 1).

These spring appearances follow the release of Solo, Weilerstein’s compilation of unaccompanied 20th-century cello music; marking her third recording as an exclusive Decca Classics artist, the new album received a five-star review in BBC Music magazine, and represents an “uncompromising and pertinent portrait of the cello repertoire of our time” (ResMusica, France). A video of the cellist performing Omaramor by Osvaldo Golijov, one of the disc’s many highlights, may be viewed here. Weilerstein also scored hits with her first two Decca releases, a rendering of Elgar’s cello concerto that won BBC Music magazine’s coveted “Recording of the Year” award, and a chart-topping account of Dvorák’s cello concerto. The latter was recorded with the Czech Philharmonic, and she reprises it on tour with the same orchestra in Germany this May.

Weilerstein was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of nine, and serves as a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She recently published Integration, Not Domination, an insightful essay about her refusal to let the condition dominate her life; as she concludes,

“I play upwards of 120 concerts a year on five continents, and I have a longterm recording contract with a major label. I write this letter on a plane to Tokyo. And yes, I have my arsenal of diabetes supplies with me and keep an unwavering eye on my blood sugar control. I continue to fully integrate it into my life, but it does not run my life in any way.”

Details of Alisa Weilerstein’s upcoming engagements are provided below, and more information is available at the artist’s website:


Alisa Weilerstein: upcoming engagements

April 1 & 2
Montreal, Canada
Montreal Symphony Orchestra / Larry Foster
Bloch: Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hébraïque

April 16–May 1
U.S. duo recital tour with Inon Barnatan, piano
Beethoven: Sonata No. 5 in D, Op. 102, No. 2
Schubert (trans. Weilerstein/Barnatan): Fantasia in C, D. 934
Joseph Hallman (b.1979): DreamLog (2013-15; world premiere in Winston-Salem)
Rachmaninoff: Sonata in G minor, Op. 19
April 16: Winston-Salem, NC (Wake Forest University)
April 17: Charlotte, NC
April 18: San Juan, PR
April 26: Sonoma State University, CA (Green Music Center)
May 1: Boston, MA (“Celebrity Series,” Jordan Hall)

April 23
New York, NY
Carnegie Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium
Orchestra of St. Luke’s / Pablo Heras-Casado
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 2, Op. 126

May 6 & 7
Spanish solo recital tour
Britten: Tema Sacher
Bach: Cello Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009
Ligeti: Sonata for Solo Cello
Golijov: Omaramor
Cassadó: Suite for Cello Solo
May 6: Las Palmas, Spain
May 7: Barcelona, Spain

May 9 & 10
German tour with Czech Philharmonic Orchestra / Petr Altrichter
Dvorák: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104
May 9: Weiden, Germany
May 10: Friedrichshafen, Germany

May 13
Paris, France
Orchestre de Paris / Emmanuel Krivine
Dvorák: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

May 21 & 22
Irish tour with Ulster Orchestra / Rafael Payare
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
May 21: Dublin, Ireland
May 22: Belfast, Northern Ireland

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© 21C Media Group, March 2015

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