Described 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.
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. Beiser 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.
Beiser 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’s Zankel Hall have been chosen by The New York Times critics as among the “Best Of The Year.”
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. Beiser was the founding cellist of the new music ensemble, the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
During her time at Governors Island, Beiser will develop ELSEWHERE, a new CelloOpera for performers Maya Beiser and the acclaimed vocalist Helga Davis. A triptych of daring compositions by Eve Beglarian, Michael Gordon and Missy Mazzoli, ELSEWHERE is an imaginative and psychological retelling of the biblical story of Lot’s wife.
A sweeping assemblage of video designed by Peter Nigrini, choreography by Karole Armitage, environments designed by Riccardo Hernandez, and amplified, distorted and acoustic cello in tandem with spoken and sung texts by Erin Cressida Wilson and Henri Michaux, ELSEWHERE is an urgent dialogue between two female diviners communicating from opposite poles in time, ancient and modern, catastrophic and calm, both at the brink of apocalypse and non-existence.
Image credit: courtesy of the artist