Maya BeiserOn Our Show: October 22, 2011
Birth Year: 1963
Origin: Galilee, Israel
About Maya Beiser:
Described by the New Yorker as a “cello goddess” and by the Washington Post as “the diva of the cello,” Maya Beiser has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. From playing Bach to Philip Glass to Led Zeppelin, Maya excels at animating iconic cello pieces and bringing classical to new and unexpected places.
Over the past decade, she has created new repertoire for the cello, commissioning and performing many works written for her by today’s leading composers. She has collaborated with composers Tan Dun, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Steve Reich, Louis Andriessen and Mark O’Connor among many others. Maya is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages, having appeared as soloist at the Sydney Opera House, New York City’s Lincoln Center, London’s Barbican and the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan.
Maya has conceived, performed and produced her critically acclaimed multimedia concerts, including World To Come, which premiered as part of the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall; Almost Human, a collaboration with visual artist Shirin Neshat; and Provenance, which premiered at Carnegie Hall in October 2008 and forms the basis of her latest recording. Her sold-out concerts at Carnegie’ Zankel Hall have been chosen by The New York Times critics as among the “Best Of The Year.”
Highlights of her recent US tours included performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Mondavi Performing Arts Center, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Celebrity Series in Boston and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven.
Other recent performances include major venues and festivals in Barcelona, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, Athens, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. She has appeared with many of the world’s top orchestras performing new works for the cello. Her recent appearances with orchestras included the St. Paul Camber Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the Sydney Symphony, and the China Philharmonic, among many others.
Maya’s latest recording, Provenance, has been one of the year’s top-selling classical and world music CDs since its release in May 2010. Her performance of Steve Reich’s Cello Counterpoint is featured on You Are, which was chosen by The New York Times as one of the top albums of the year. She is also the soloist on the Sony Classical CD release of Tan Dun’s Water Passion, and has performed his Academy Award-winning score Crouching Tiger Concerto with orchestras around the globe. She has released four solo CD’s including Oblivion, Kinship, World To Come, and Almost Human.
Maya has been a featured soloist on several film soundtracks. Collaborating with renowned film composer James Newton Howard, she is the featured soloist on M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, and Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond.
Raised on a kibbutz in Israel by her French mother and Argentinean father, Maya Beiser is a graduate of Yale University. Her major teachers were Aldo Parisot, Uzi Weizel, Alexander Schneider, and Isaac Stern. Maya was the founding cellist of the new music ensemble, the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
(All details adapted from the artist’s website and press materials. Photo by Merri Cyr.)