Maya Beiser, cello
Maya Beiser has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. The Boston Globe declares, “With virtuoso chops, rock-star charisma, and an appetite for pushing her instrument to the edge of avant-garde adventurousness, Maya Beiser is the post-modern diva of the cello.”
“Maya Beiser has etched a bold career path that marries classical to rock, starched collars to casual dress, and tradition to unorthodoxy,” reports AllMusic.com. Throughout her adventurous and versatile career she has reimagined the concert experience, creating new music 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, David Lang, Louis Andriessen, and Mark O’Connor, among many others. A featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages, Maya appeared as soloist at the Sydney Opera House, New York’s Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and BAM, London’s Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, and South Bank Center, and the World Expo in Nagoya, Japan. In 2011, Maya was invited to present at the exclusive TED conference. Her TEDtalk performance has been watched by close to a million people and translated to 32 languages.
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 forms the basis of her best selling album. Top New York critics have consistently chosen her Carnegie Hall concerts on their “Best Of The Year” lists. Maya’s 2012 production, Elsewhere: A CelloOpera, premiered at Carolina Performing Arts followed by a sold-out run at the BAM Next Wave Festival. Elsewhere is an imaginative retelling of the Biblical legend of Lot’s wife, created by Maya with director Robert Woodruff. Maya’s latest project All Vows explores the dichotomy between the physical, external world we inhabit and the inner landscape of our secret selves. It premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in March 2014 and features the music from her newest album Uncovered plus works by Michael Gordon and Michael Harrison, both with original film by Bill Morrison, as well as music by Glenn Kotche, David T. Little, and Mohammed Fairouz.
Highlights of Maya Beiser’s recent US tours include performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Mondavi Performing Arts Center, Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Celebrity Series in Boston and International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven. Other recent performances include major venues and festivals in Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Torino, Tokyo, Taipei, Athens, Mexico City and Bogota. She has appeared with many of the world’s top orchestras performing new works for the cello including the St. Paul Camber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, China Philharmonic, and Shanghai Philharmonic among many others.
Maya’s vast discography, released on Sony Classical, Nonesuch, Koch (now E1) Innova and Cantaloupe labels, include five solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her 2010 album Provenance topped the classical and world music charts on both Amazon and iTunes. Maya’s 2012 recording, Time Loops, was selected among NPR’s top 10 recordings of that year. Her latest album, Uncovered (Innova, August 2014), is a collection of startling classic rock tunes, re-imagined and re-contextualized, in stunningly moving performances by Maya. A cover tune can be an homage to the original, but these “uncovers,” in new arrangements by Evan Ziporyn, attempt to do more – to evoke the unprecedented power of the music of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Janis Joplin, Howlin’ Wolf, King Crimson, Muddy Waters, and AC/DC as musical masterpieces and as totems of our collective consciousness.
Collaborating with renowned film composer James Newton Howard, Maya is the featured soloist on several film’s soundtracks including M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond, Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman and M. Night Shyamalan’s After Earth.
Raised on a kibbutz in the Galilee Mountains 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.
For more information on Maya, visit http://www.mayabeiser.com/
Maya can also be found on Twitter, tweeting as @cellogoddess, a moniker bestowed upon her by The New Yorker.