Cellist Maya Beiser defies categories. Passionately forging a career path through uncharted territories, she 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,” while Rolling Stone calls her a “cello rock star.”
Raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, surrounded by the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire, Maya has dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the mainstream classical arena. A featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, London’s South Bank Centre and the Barbican Centre, Sydney Opera House, Beijing Festival, Big Ears festival and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, she has collaborated with a wide range of artists across many disciplines, including Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Shirin Neshat, Steve Reich, David Lang, Tan Dun, Robert Woodruff, Bill Morrison, Evan Ziporyn and Osvaldo Golijov, among many others.
Maya’s critically acclaimed multimedia productions World To Come, Almost Human, Provenance, Elsewhere: A Cello Opera, and All Vows have consistently been chosen for top critics’ “Best Of The Year” lists. Her production All Vows premiered at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and has since been on tour in the US including performances in Washington, DC; Dallas; Houston; Chicago; and New York. Other recent highlights include featured solo performances as part of the Barbican’s Sound Unbound and Kings Place’s Cello Unwrapped festivals in London, the Cello Biennale in Amsterdam and Strings for Autumn Festival in Prague; two new cello concerti premieres, Mohammed Fairouz’s cello concerto with the Detroit Symphony and Mark Anthony Turnage’s cello concerto with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra; and premiere performances with the Boston Ambient Orchestra and the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra of Blackstar, a collaboration with Evan Ziporyn, re-imagining David Bowie’s complete final album as a cello concerto. Upcoming highlights include Spinning, a new production collaboration with composer Julia Wolfe and visual artist Laurie Olinder; the day, a music-dance collaboration with Wendy Whelan and David Lang; and performances at 2018 BBC Proms and Edinburgh Festivals.
Highlights of Maya’s tours include performances at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, Celebrity Series in Boston, Ojai Music Festival, International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, and major venues and festivals in Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Torino, Tokyo, Taipei, Athens, Mexico City, Havana and Bogota. She has appeared with many of the world’s top orchestras performing new works for the cello including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, BBC Concert Orchestra, Boston Pops, Sydney Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Nashville Symphony, China Philharmonic, and Shanghai Philharmonic, among many others.
Maya’s vast discography includes ten solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her next album, a recording of David Lang’s the day and world to come, will be released in fall 2017 on Cantaloupe Music. Her album, TranceClassical, released July 2016, debuted at No. 1 on the Apple Music classical chart. Her 2010 album Provenance topped the classical and world music charts on both Amazon and iTunes, and her album Time Loops was selected among NPR’s top 10 recordings of 2012. Her album Uncovered, a collection of re-imagined and re-contextualized classic rock masterpieces, made the top 10 on the Billboard Classical Chart.
Maya Beiser is a 2015 United States Artists (USA) Distinguished Fellow in Music; a 2017 Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology; and she was recently a Presenting Artist at the inaugural CultureSummit, held in 2017 in Abu Dhabi. Invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach, CA, Maya’s 2011 TED Talk has been watched by close to one million people and translated to 32 languages. In 2013, she was a featured guest alongside such luminaries as Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović, and Isabella Rossellini at ICASTICA, a festival celebrating women working in artistic fields in Arezzo, Italy. Maya is a graduate of Yale University and was a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars.
Maya Beiser is on twitter as @CelloGoddess