Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Web site: http://ums.org/s_current_season/artist.asp?pageid=531
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The 26-year-old American cellist Alisa Weilerstein is “arguably Yo-Yo Ma’s heir as sovereign of the American cello,” says New York Magazine’s Justin Davidson. An intense and passionate player, she has been surrounded by music her entire life; her parents are both musicians who are active in chamber music circles, and she reportedly started begging for a cello at age 4. A 2004 graduate of Columbia University with a degree in Russian history, she has already racked up an impressive catalog of achievements, including Lincoln Center’s 2008 Martin E. Segal prize for exceptional achievement, the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award in Germany, and an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000, not to mention her personal role as a celebrity advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. “Whatever she plays sounds custom-composed for her, as if she has a natural affinity with everything,” says New York Magazine. “Weilerstein plays classical music, but with the depth of soul and raw emotional energy of a diehard rocker,” adds the Toronto Star.
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