Frequent Charleston Cellist Earns “Genius” Status

Imagine your phone rings. You answer. The voice on the other end claims you have been selected to receive $500,000 over the next five years. For most of us, this call would be too good to be true. For Alisa Weilerstein, a Charleston favorite during the Spoleto Festivals, it’s a reality.A Spoleto Festival favorite has been named a MacArthur "genius"

On September 20th, Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, a familiar face in the Charleston music scene, was named a 2011 MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Also referred to as the “Genius Award”, this honor is presented to candidates based on their creativity and potential to make contributions to their fields. Weilerstein was one of 22 other candidates who were selected as Fellows. At the young age of 29, Weilerstein has also made headlines for being one of the youngest Fellows this year.

Weilerstein is an exclusive recording artist for Decca Classics, has played with all major orchestras in the United States and Europe and was even invited to perform at the White House in 2009. Despite her renowned success worldwide, it was her emotive performances during the Charleston Spoleto Chamber series that captivated the hearts of art and music lovers in Charleston.

Weilerstein has graced the Charleston area with her presence for the past 8 years during the Spoleto Festivals. She is expected to make a return for the festival next spring and one can only imagine the crowds this brilliant cellist will draw. Being named a MacArthur Fellow has given Weilerstein an even larger platform than she previously enjoyed and has secured her spot as one of the top female cellists of her time. Money talks. And when Weilerstein plays, Charleston listens.

Back To The Top