Cellist Maya Beiser Named 2015 United States Artists Distinguished Fellow in Music

11.13.15
United States Artists

Cellist Maya Beiser has been announced today as one of United States Artists (USA) Fellows for 2015. As a Distinguished Fellow in Music, she receives an award of $50,000, given by USA to support practice and professional development, opening up exciting creative possibilities through the transformative power of unrestricted financial support.

The 37 recipients of this year’s awards were selected from over 400 nominated artists living in the United States and US Territories and were chosen by panels of expert peers in each artistic discipline. “USA Fellowships are awarded to innovative artists of all ages and at all stages of their careers, who are nominated for their commitment to excellence and the enduring potential of their work,” said United States Artists CEO Carolina García Jayaram. “We are honored to present this year’s Fellows, a group of artists who were selected through a rigorous, highly competitive process. What continues to set the USA Fellowship apart is the unrestricted nature of our award. USA’s mission is to put artists first as they are the core of our organization. This is shown by the inherent trust we place in them to know how to use the money to further their practice and pursue unrealized opportunities.

Cellist Maya Beiser defies categories. Passionately forging a career path through uncharted territories, she has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. The Boston Globe declares, “With virtuoso chops, rock-star charisma, and an appetite for pushing her instrument to the edge of avant-garde adventurousness, Maya Beiser is the post-modern diva of the cello.”

Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, surrounded by the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire, Maya has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical arena. A featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, London’s South Bank Centre, Sydney Opera House, and the Beijing Festival, she has collaborated with a wide range of artists across many disciplines, including Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Shirin Neshat, Steve Reich, David Lang, Tan Dun, Robert Woodruff, Bill Morrison, Evan Ziporyn and Osvaldo Golijov, among many others.

Maya’s 2012 production, Elsewhere: A CelloOpera, premiered at Carolina Performing Arts followed by a sold- out run at the BAM Next Wave Festival. Her latest project All Vows explores the dichotomy between the physical, external world and the inner landscape of our secret selves and premiered at the Yerba Buena Center in 2014. Beiser is currently touring All Vows worldwide. Recent and upcoming performances include the BAM 2015 Next Wave Festival, London’s Barbican Hall, and the Ojai Music Festival.

Invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach CA, Maya’s 2011 TEDtalk has been watched by close to one million people and translated to 32 languages. In 2013, she was a featured guest alongside such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, and Isabella Rossellini at ICASTICA, a festival celebrating women working in artistic fields in Arezzo, Italy.

Maya is a graduate of Yale University and a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Her vast discography includes eight solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her 2010 album Provenance topped the classical and world music charts on both Amazon and iTunes, and her album Time Loops was selected among NPR’s top 10 recordings of 2012. Her latest album Uncovered, a collection of re-imagined and re-contextualized classic rock masterpieces, was in the top 10 on the Billboard Classical Chart upon release in August 2014 and has been garnering rave reviews. 

Read more about the program here