5 of Alisa Weilerstein’s Favorite New Works for Cello

“I’m a cellist, therefore I don’t have the luxury of ‘favorite’ repertoire,” Alisa Weilerstein said after rehearsing a concerto, Outscape, by Pascal Dusapin, which had its world-premiere performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Thursday, May 26, 2016. “I love the standard repertoire very much, but it’s limited, especially if you compare it the violin or the piano.”

Weilerstein is committed to expanding the repertoire by developing relationships with living composers. “I try to take Rostropovich’s example, who had incredible relationships with composers and of course was the muse to Shostakovich and Prokofiev,” she said. “Without him, we might not have these titanic 20th century cello works. Cellists of my generation need to give back and forge relationships with the composers of today to create a strong 21st-century repertoire. It’s not only out of a sense of duty, but I genuinely enjoy working with composers and being a part of the creative process.”