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La Jolla Music Society

Alisa Weilerstein: Fragments 2

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2023 · 7:30 PM


Co-produced with the San Diego Symphony


This concert is part of The California Festival, a new, statewide music initiative showcasing the most compelling and forward-looking voices in performances of works written in the past five years.


Renowned cellist Alisa Weilerstein returns for the second installment of her groundbreaking, multi-year project FRAGMENTS. This innovative series weaves together the 36 movements of Bach’s solo cello suites with 27 newly commissioned works. The resulting collection is divided into six Fragments, each an hour long and blending five to six composers, to be released independently over several seasons—the first of these graced our stage in the 2022–23 season. Within each Fragment, individual movements from a single Bach suite are thoughtfully integrated with selected new works to create a new emotional arc. Enhanced by responsive lighting and scenic architecture, the music is performed without pause and without a program, making for a wholly original and immersive audience experience.


Alisa Weilerstein is one of the foremost cellists of our time. Since making her professional and Carnegie Hall debuts in her early teens, she has been in demand as a solo recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist with leading orchestras worldwide. She was recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship in 2011. An authority on Bach’s music for unaccompanied cello, Weilerstein recently released a best-selling recording of his solo suites on the Pentatone label, streamed them in her innovative #36DaysOfBach project, and deconstructed his beloved G-major prelude in a video, viewed almost 1.5 million times. Her discography also includes chart-topping albums and the winner of BBC Music’s “Recording of the Year” award. As Artistic Partner of the Trondheim Soloists, she regularly tours and records with the Norwegian orchestra. She is an ardent champion of contemporary music, and has premiered and championed important new works by composers including Pascal Dusapin, Osvaldo Golijov, and Matthias Pintscher. Other career milestones include a performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at nine years old, Weilerstein is a staunch advocate for the T1D community. She lives with her husband, Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare, and their young child.


Alisa Weilerstein, Project Creator, Cello

Elkhanah Pulitzer, Director

Seth Reiser, Scenic and Lighting Designer

Hanako Yamaguchi, Artistic Producer / Advisor