Recent News
12.12.18
Keith Lockhart
KEITH LOCKHART JOINS THE ROSTER
12.10.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Classical Album of the Week: Vienna Boys Choir Sings Strauss
WRTI
12.07.18
JoAnn Falletta, Mariss Jansons, David Alan Miller, Peter Oundjian, Patrick Summers, Alexandre Tharaud, Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider , Mason Bates, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Academy of St Martin in the Fields , Les Violons du Roy , Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nathan Gunn
2019 Grammy Nominees
Grammy Awards
12.07.18
New York Philharmonic String Quartet , Yefim Bronfman
Bronfman, NY Philharmonic Quartet impress at Linton Series
Cincinnati Business Courier
12.06.18
Aaron Diehl
Pianist Diehl in jazz trio plays varied concert in Palm Beach
Palm Beach Daily News
12.06.18
Julian Wachner
This Is the Best ‘Messiah’ in New York
The New York Times
12.04.18
Sir Andrew Davis
ELGAR The Music Makers. The Spirit of England (Davis)
Gramophone
12.03.18
Chanticleer
Chanticleer Christmas concert, 11/30/18
Divamensch
12.01.18
Ward Stare
Twin pianists deliver impeccable style in ‘Perfect Pairs’ concert
Sarasota Herald Tribune
11.27.18
Richard Kaufman
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA HAUNTS THE SOROYA IN REAL TIME
Broadway World

News archive »

Alisa Weilerstein has audience on a string with her cello magic

11.20.16
Alisa Weilerstein
Daily Telegraph

There's a good reason why 34-year-old American cellist Alisa Weilerstein should be dubbed “the new Jacqueline du Pre”.

After all Daniel Barenboim chose her for his first recording of the Elgar cello concerto since the legendary albums he made with his wife in the 1960s.

But while Weilerstein admits du Pre is her cello hero and they do have in common that riveting intensity and passion in their playing, coupled with prodigious technique and the ability to make each note mean something, the young New Yorker is showing the world that hers is a talent that only comes along once in a very long while.

In Sydney we’ve seen her with Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2011 performing Prokofiev and again two years later with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra stunning us with Shostakovich.

Even more remarkable was her 2014 recital in the intimate Utzon Room at the Opera House which brought home what a stupendous musician she is.

So her return here to perform Dvorak’s cello concerto — perhaps the greatest of them all — was a concert not to be missed. It’s a work that has everything, from the Bohemian melodic surges of the first movement to a yearning adagio and a toe-tapping Czech folk dance-inflected finale.

It demands much of the soloist, with extraordinary double-stopped runs and gigantic heroic gestures which range from the bottom to the top of the fingerboard.

Weilerstein and her recently-acquired Montagnana cello seem almost as one as she plays, weaving and throwing her head back or looking at concertmaster Andrew Haveron or conductor Brett Dean.

Weilerstein made three appearances in the concert, opening the first half perched up in the choir seats performing Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski’s Sacher Variation for unaccompanied cello, one of several variations by various composers on a theme by Benjamin Britten dedicated to Swiss conductor Paul Sacher.

This acted as a seamless introduction to the other piece on the program, Lutoslawski’s dramatic Symphony No. 3, which was written at a time of great turmoil in his homeland during the struggles of the Solidarity movement against a repressive Communist regime.

Here the four-note recurring blast of chords can be likened to the fist of the regime crushing the freedom expressed elsewhere in this remarkable score. At times the orchestra is instructed to play ad lib until the conductor brings them back to the score.

The result is an intense work which oscillates between rich and unusual soundscapes and floating ethereal passages interrupted by the brutal four chord motif. This was a triumphant performance by Dean, one of our foremost composers and violists who knows an orchestra from the inside out.

After the glories of the Dvorak concerto, which featured some beautiful solo and duet passages from hornist Robert Johnson and the SSO’s top-notch woodwind department, Weilerstein made her third appearance for an encore, an eloquent and elegant performance of the sarabande from Bach’s Cello Suite No 3.
 
Read the rest of the review here