Ms. Weilerstein to join violinist Joshua Bell, guitarist Sharon Isbin and pianist Awadagin Pratt
Cellist Alisa Weilerstein will take part in the next White House Music Series event that will focus on classical music on Wednesday, November 4. Ms. Weilerstein is one of four performers invited to take part in the event that will include student workshops for 120 middle and high school students followed by an evening concert featuring Ms. Weilerstein, violinist Joshua Bell, guitarist Sharon Isbin and pianist Awadagin Pratt in the East Room.
The White House Music Series was created by First Lady Michelle Obama to celebrate the arts, demonstrate the importance of arts education and to encourage young people who believe in their talent to create a future for themselves in the arts community be it as a hobby or as a profession. Previous White House events have featured jazz, country and Latin musicians.
“It was definitely an extremely exciting and thrilling moment when I received the invitation and I am proud and honored to be taking part in this event,” said Ms. Weilerstein. “It is so gratifying to see the arts being embraced by the current administration and the message that music is an important and essential part of American life is certainly one I support.”
In addition to the student workshops that will be introduced by Mrs. Obama, Ms. Weilerstein will perform duets with two child protégés, cellist Sujari Britt and marimba player Jason Yoder. President Obama will make remarks at the evening concert that will feature the four musicians performing solo works and that will be streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov and rebroadcast on SIRIUS XM Radio’s Symphony Hall channel, SIRIUS channel 80 and XM channel 78 over the weekend.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ms. Weilerstein has attracted widespread attention for playing that combines a natural virtuosic command and technical precision with impassioned musicianship. The intensity and passion of her playing has regularly been lauded, as has the spontaneity and sensitivity of her interpretations. New York magazine has described her as “…arguably Yo-Yo Ma’s heiress apparent as sovereign of the American cello.”
Following the White House event, Ms. Weilerstein will perform Dvorak’s Cello Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Peter Oundjian in Philadelphia on November 6, 7 and 8. The following week she will perform three free one-hour recitals of Bach’s Solo Cello Suites in New York on November 10, 11 and 12 at Columbia University’s Philosophy Hall.
Ms. Weilerstein, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine, is a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and will mark World Diabetes Day on Saturday, November 14. Ms. Weilerstein meets with members of the local chapters of JDRF when she tours with the aim of communicating to young people that living with and managing type 1 diabetes does not stop you from doing anything you want to do. In June she conveyed this message to delegates at the JDRF’s Children’s Congress in Washington as a member of a role model panel.