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Classical cellist Alisa Weilerstein to perform at the Wharton Center

January 25, 2023
Alisa Weilerstein Photo: Marco Borggreve
Alisa Weilerstein Photo: Marco Borggreve —

Classical cellist Alisa Weilerstein is coming to the Wharton Center on Jan. 26, with hopes that that her performance will encourage students to see live music as a "shared experience." 

After relying on live-streams to share musical performances since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Weilerstein said its "special" to return to a live audience. 

"After a long time in lockdown and relying on live streams ... It's easy to get complacent and forget why live music is so special in the first place,” Weilerstein said.  

Weilerstein will perform three of Jonathan Bach’s orchestral suites what she refers to as the "Bible of cello repertoire." Weilerstein recently recorded all six suites, which became a best-selling album. 

“It’s really some of the most profound and visceral music that exists for any instrument,” Weilerstein said. 

Weilerstein says that she sees music as the highest form of communication between humans, which inspires her to come back to performing. 

“I think that music is one of the highest forms of communication that we have," Weilerstein said. "It's capable of reaching people, regardless of a background or language. There's really nothing like being in a concert hall listening to live music and feeling the kind of collective energy of an audience as well as a performer and feeling that connection between humans. And so that's why I keep coming back to it.” 

Wharton Center Public Relations Manager Bob Hoffman said Weilerstein’s performance offers a rare opportunity to see these suites, which hold a special place in the musical canon, performed. 

“Particularly suite number one, which is hailed as the greatest cello suite of all time," Hoffman said. 

Hoffman said even those who do not like classical music might have a change of heart after Weilerstein’s performance. 

“She is one of the world's most famous classical musicians," Hoffman said. "Even if you don't think that you like classical music, you might want to consider going to this show. It’ll probably change your mind, because she's incredible. The music is just absolutely gorgeous.” 

Weilerstein encourages students to remember there is nothing like being live in a concert hall, listening to music as it's happening and being surrounded by others in the moment.

"Tha's something you can't get online," she said. 

Tickets to see Weilerstein in concert cost $23 for the general public and $17 for Michigan State University students. 

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