Cellist Weilerstein wins MacArthur Grant

Posted on: September 20, 2011

Tuesday (9/20) on his Baltimore Sun blog Clef Notes/Drama Queens, Tim Smith writes, “This weekend, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra unexpectedly will have two recipients of MacArthur Fellowship Grants onstage—cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who is among the 2011 winners; and conductor Marin Alsop, who earned her distinction in 2005. As you will recall, this award—commonly called the ‘genius grant’—recognizes ‘originality, creativity and self-direction’ and comes with $500,000 for the recipient. That gives the BSO engagement, when Weilsertsin will perform the Dvorak Cello Concerto, an extra cache. ‘The million dollar concert, right?’ the cellist said with a laugh from New York a few hours before the 2011 MacArthur Fellows were announced. Weilerstein, 29, has been guarding the news of her good fortune since being informed on Sept. 7. … The cellist, whose busy international career has earned her considerable acclaim, has not decided what to do with the $500,000. ‘I’m still pretty shocked,’ she said. ‘I don’t have very formulated ideas yet.’ Weilerstein does not expect things to be any different when she joins Alsop in Baltimore this weekend. ‘We’re still the same people,’ she said.”

Posted September 20, 2011