Cellist Alisa Weilerstein tours with Mahler Chamber Orchestra & launches new CD

Music is in Alisa Weilerstein’s blood. You can hear it when she performs and then you find out, it is true, her family is musical. Alisa Weilerstein Elgar Cello Concertos

Her latest CD, released in May, with Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin is the Cello Concertos by Edward Elgar and Elliott Carter. Listening to it is hauntingly beautiful.

Whilst in Australia she will be performing with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra:

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  • HENZE Sonata for strings
  • SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No.1, Op.107
  • DVOŘÁK Symphony No.9 From the New World


Find out more about these concerts & buy tickets: Sydney Jun 11, 7pm | Melbourne Jun 12, 7:30pm


There is a story on her website about her 1st cello being a Rice Krispies box, so when I talked to her, I had to ask her about it.

I was two and a half and got the chicken pox and my mum was touring, so my grandma made a string quartet from cereal boxes for me. I picked up the cello and ignored the others. I was then given a cello after begging for it.

Her first public performance was when she was 4.

I also asked her about ways to attract new, younger audiences to classical music. Her response was insightful and passionate.

She discussed how presenters have to be aware of the problems for new audiences. There are rules about being quiet, what to wear, and that it is considered formal. It is up to the performers to decrease formality and many orchestras are doing this. She particularly likes what LA Phil are doing, which is successfully growing audiences. They have a very special acoustic, remarkable program and visually they’re less formal (wearing jeans when performing). They have packages for families so it is appealing for families to attend concerts together.

Programming only hits don’t broaden minds and it is important to program what pushes the envelope. Shorter concerts will also attract new audiences.

Alisa still performs her own programs and recitals in smaller spaces, which she likes because it humanises the performer for audiences (it is a key reason why I like concerts in smaller spaces). And, she plays for children in schools exposing them to classical music from a young age.

If you can hear her perform in Sydney or Melbourne, or her CD, you won’t be disappointed.

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