Cellist Alisa Weilerstein to Perform with New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics in March

Ms. Weilerstein to perform Barber’s Cello Concerto with the New York Philharmonic & David Zinman in New York City & New Jersey March 8, 9, 10 &13

Ms. Weilerstein to perform Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations & Respighi’s Adagio con Variazioni with the Los Angeles Philharmonic & Neeme Järvi, and in recital as part of the inaugural Piatigorsky International Cello Festival March 18

Performance schedule also includes a recital with composer and pianist Lera Auerbach in San Francisco on March 14

Cellist Alisa Weilerstein will perform Samuel Barber’s challenging Cello Concerto in four concerts with the New York Philharmonic and conductor David Zinman in March, including three concerts at Avery Fisher Hall (March 8, 10 & 13) and one at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (March 9). Later in the month she will take part in the first Piatigorsky International Cello Festival performing Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations and Respighi’s Adagio con Variazioni with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and conductor Neeme Järvi on Sunday, March 18. The concerts will be Ms. Weilerstein’s first New York City and Los Angeles concerts since being named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in September 2011 and precede April appearances in Germany where she will perform and record Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Staatskapelle for Decca Classics.

The New York Philharmonic concerts are part of The Modern Beethoven – A Philharmonic Festival and place the Barber Cello Concerto alongside Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 8 and 4. Concert times are: Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 10 at 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday, March 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Avery Fisher Hall. Tickets are available from www.nyphil.org, by phone (212) 875-5656 or in person from the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office. The concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center is on Friday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available from www.njpac.org, by phone 1-888-466-5722 or in person from the Box Office at One Center Street , Newark .

On Wednesday, March 7 Ms. Weilerstein will take part in an “Off Stage at the Atrium” event in the David Rubenstein Atrium at the Lincoln Center at 7:00 p.m. Ms. Weilerstein will be joined by her brother, New York Philharmonic assistant conductor Joshua Weilerstein, for a conversation with WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon. This event is free and will include a short solo performance by Ms. Weilerstein.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ms. Weilerstein said she considers the Barber Cello Concerto to be one of the most important 20th century concertos: “It is very different from his violin concerto. This piece is much rougher and has an almost jazzy rhythm in parts. It is much angrier than his violin concerto, but also has an innocent quality and a mysterious side to it.”

Although a relatively compact piece of three short movements (total duration approx 28 minutes), Ms. Weilerstein said the piece is a virtuosic showpiece and a demanding technical challenge that is not programmed very often. (The concerto was written for Russian-born cellist, Raya Garbousova, who gave the first performance in 1946 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Garbousova was the grandmother of pianist Jonathan Biss.)

Immediately following her New York Philharmonic concerts, Ms. Weilerstein will travel to San Francisco for a recital with pianist and composer Lera Auerbach and soprano Lina Tetrani on Wednesday, March 14 at 8:00 p.m. at the Herbst Theatre. The program features three works by Lera Auerbach: Last Letter for voice, cello and piano, her Sonata for Piano & Cello and 24 Preludes for Piano. Tickets are available from www.sfperformances.org, by phone (415) 392-2545 or in person from the City Box Office, 180 Redwood St., Suite 100 (off Van Ness, north of McAllister).

Ms. Weilerstein will remain on the West Coast to take part in the inaugural Piatigorsky International Cello Festival presented by the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and the LA Phil in partnership with The Colburn School and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra ( LACO ). Ms. Weilerstein will perform Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations and Respighi’s Adagio con Variazioni with Neeme Järvi and the Los Angeles Philharmonic on Sunday, March 18 at 2:00 p.m. at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Dvořák’s Carnival Overture and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 are also on the program. That evening at 7:30 p.m. , Ms. Weilerstein will be one of eight cellists to perform in recital at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Ms. Weilerstein will perform Bach’s Air on the G String and Christopher Rouse’s Rapturedux. Tickets for both events are available from www.laphil.org, by phone (323) 850-2000.

In April, Ms. Weilerstein will embark on an exciting new chapter in her career when she begins recording for her debut CD for Decca Classics. Ms. Weilerstein’s first recording will be the Elgar Cello Concerto which she will perform with conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin on Thursday, April 5 in a performance that is being recorded live. This will be Ms. Weilerstein’s first recording with an orchestra and she says that performing this concerto with Daniel Barenboim and recording it as the first cellist that Decca Classics has signed in over 30 years carries some pressure: “I feel very fortunate that I have had the experience of the concerts in Berlin and Oxford,” she said, referring to her performance with Mr. Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmoniker at its 2010 European Concert held in Jacqueline du Pré’s home town of Oxford that was televised worldwide and released on DVD .

Ms. Weilerstein’s debut recording for Decca Classics will include Elliot Carter’s Cello Concerto to be recorded later this year with Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin and will be released at the end of 2012.

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