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Musical World

Maya Beiser

  • Cellist


Maya Beiser has received critical acclaim for her solo CD's and performances, creating a fresh repertoire for the cello across cultures and genres. Known for many years as the cellist of the Bang On A Can All Stars, Maya Beiser has left the ensemble to focus on her solo work. Over the past decade, she has created a new repertoire for cello, commissioning and performing many works written for her by today's leading composers.

Maya has collaborated with composers Louis Andriessen, Tan Dun, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Steve Reich, and Simon Shaheen, Michael Gordon among many others. In the past years, Maya Beiser has received much acclaim for her multimedia solo projects: Her concert World to Come including works by Steve Reich, Osvaldo Golijov, David Lang, Chinary Ung, Louis Andriessen and Arvo Pärt and integrating video projections with multi‑track cello compositions was premiered in New York as part of the inaugural season of Carnegie Hall's new venue, Zankel Hall.

Since then, she has performed World to Come at many important international concert venues. Following her highly successful, sold-out debut performance of World to Come, Carnegie Hall invited Maya Beiser to realize a new project: Almost Human (premiered on 9 March 2006) is a multimedia one-woman cello opera in which she explores vocal traditions from many ages and cultures with new pieces especially written for her by composers Eve Belgarian, Brett Dean, Michael Gordon and Joby Talbot.

A CD was also released under the title Almost Human in 2007, the central piece being the composition From a Far-Off Country. Together with Maya Beiser, Shirin Neshat and Eve Beglarian, three women from the Middle East - each a follower of one of the main monothesistic religions - developed this work based on a text by the Belgian poet Henri Michaux. Maya Beiser has been a featured performer at prominent concert halls across all continents. She has appeared in solo performances at Lincoln Center's Great Performers series, Carnegie Hall's "Making Music", Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella Series, and the Kennedy Center in Washington.

Festival appearances include Holland Festival, BBC Proms, London's South Bank Meltdown Festival, Jerusalem Festival, Adelaide Festival and Prague Spring Festival. In the past season she was the featured soloist of Philip Glass's Naqoyqatsi with the Philip Glass ensemble, with performances at the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan, and in Barcelona, Paris, and San Francisco.

Raised in a kibbutz in Israel by her French mother and Argentinean father, Maya Beiser is a graduate of Yale University. Her main teachers were Aldo Parisot, Uzi Weizel, Alexander Schneider, and Isaac Stern.