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 Financial Times describes Maya as “a musician with stunning technical resources and intense musical instincts,” while The Boston Globe characterizes her as “a force of nature,” and 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. 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, at Festival MANN in Naples, Italy 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 Maya cello concerto with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Bowie Symphonic: Blackstar, a collaboration with Evan Ziporyn that reimagines David Bowie’s complete final album as a cello concerto, with performances in Boston, Barcelona, New York’s Central Park SummerStage; Spinning, a new collaboration with composer Julia Wolfe and visual artist Laurie Olinder, commissioned and premiered by Peak Performances at Montclair State University; and her debut solo performance at the 2018 BBC Proms in the U.K. premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Maya. Upcoming highlights include premiere performances of music by David Lang and Joe Hisaishi at Carnegie Hall and Yomiuri Ōtemachi Hall in Tokyo, as well as a U.S. tour of Bowie Symphonic: Blackstar, and a return to the Cello Biennale in Amsterdam. Maya is currently at work on the day, a music-dance collaboration with Wendy Whelan choreographed by Lucinda Childs with music by David Lang.
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 eleven solo albums and many studio recordings and film music collaborations. Her latest album, a recording of David Lang’s the day and world to come, was released in January 2018 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 over 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.