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Decca Classics Signs Cellist Virtuoso Alisa Weilerstein, Announces 2011 Tour, 3/22-4/16

Decca Classics has signed an exclusive recording contract with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, whose natural virtuosic command, technical precision and impassioned musicianship led New York magazine to describe her as "arguably Yo-Yo Ma's heiress apparent".

Paul Moseley, Managing Director of Decca Classics, says: "We are delighted to welcome Alisa as our first cellist signing in over 30 years. She shows astonishing maturity, virtuosity and passionate commitment in a wide range of repertoire, coupled with a distinctive musical voice which marks out only the greatest players. We look forward to many exciting projects, both in concerto and recital, with this exceptional young artist."

Alisa Weilerstein (29) says: "I am honored and excited to be joining Decca Classics. As an artist, it is always your goal to share your music with as many people as possible and joining this prestigious, international label provides me with an exciting opportunity to showcase the cello repertoire to audiences outside of the concert hall."

In April 2010, Alisa made her Berliner Philharmoniker debut with conductor Daniel Barenboim, a concert televised live around the world and repeated in Oxford the following month when the Guardian wrote: "Alisa Weilerstein gave the most technically complete and emotionally devastating performance of Elgar's Cello Concerto that I have ever heard live."

Alisa Weilerstein's first recording for Decca Classics will be the Elgar Cello Concerto with Daniel Barenboim conducting: "Performing the Elgar with Maestro Barenboim has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life", comments Weilerstein. "I have learnt so much from him, not only about this beloved piece, but also about myself as a cellist. To record my debut for Decca with Maestro Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin is a dream come true. I am also delighted that this piece will be paired with Elliott Carter's Cello Concerto, a contemporary American work."

In August 2010, Alisa Weilerstein made her BBC Proms debut with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vänskä playing Shostakovich's Cello Concerto no. 1 - "a phenomenal young extraordinary account" (The Independent) - and she takes this work on a 15-city US tour in March and April 2011 with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Yuri Temirkanov, including concerts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Washington and Carnegie Hall in New York.

In November 2009, Alisa Weilerstein was one of four artists selected to participate in a White House classical music event that included student workshops hosted by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and playing for guests including President Obama and the First Family.

Born in 1982, Alisa Weilerstein made her professional debut with the Cleveland Orchestra when she was 13 and her Carnegie Hall debut with the New York Youth Symphony in March 1997. In 2008 Alisa Weilerstein was awarded Lincoln Center's Martin E. Segal prize for exceptional achievement and she was named the winner of the 2006 Leonard Bernstein Award. She received an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2000. Alisa Weilerstein is a graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Weiss, and holds a degree in Russian History from Columbia University. Alisa, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was nine, is a Celebrity Advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

For more information on Alisa Weilerstein, please visit

St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra & Alisa Weilerstein U.S. Tour 2011

Ms. Weilerstein's performances on the tour begin on Tuesday, March 22 at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, CA and continue in Santa Barbara, CA (3/23), Palm Desert, CA (3/24), Davis, CA (3/26), Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, CA (3/27), Orchestra Hall in Chicago, IL (3/30), Urbana, IL (3/31), Goshen, IN (4/1), Chapel Hill, NC (4/5), West Palm Beach, FL (4/7), Sarasota, FL (4/8), Symphony Hall in Boston, MA (4/10), Bethesda, MD (4/12), Carnegie Hall in New York, NY (4/14), and Greenvale, NY (4/16).

Photo: Jamie Jung


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