Maya Beiser

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Maya Beiser in 2006

Maya Beiser is an American musician, cellist, performing artist and producer who lives in New York City. Beiser was raised on a kibbutz in Israel by her French mother and Argentine father, and graduated from Yale University School of Music. She has been described by the Boston Globe as "a force of nature",[1] "a cello goddess" by The New Yorker [2] and "the reigning queen of the avant-garde cello"[3] by The Washington Post. Beiser is a 2015 United States Artists Distinguished Music Fellow[4] and the Inaugural Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology.[5]


Maya Beiser was born 31 December 1963 in Gazit, a kibbutz in Israel.[6] Her mother was French, her father Argentinian.[7] As a child, she played the piano before switching to the cello.[6][7] At age twelve, she was discovered by the violinist Isaac Stern and embarked on a solo career. Beiser graduated from Yale University School of Music in 1987. She collaborated with composers Louis Andriessen, Steve Reich, David Lang, Tan Dun, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Gordon, Michael Harrison, Julia Wolfe, Mark Anthony Turnage, visual artists Shirin Neshat, and Bill Morrison, dancer Wendy Whelan and choreographer Lucinda Childs. Beiser was a speaker at the 2011 TED conference in Long Beach California. Her TEDtalk[8] performance has been watched by over a million people and translated to 34 languages.

Beiser has conceived, performed and produced three multimedia concerts for Carnegie Hall: World To Come;[9] Almost Human[10], a collaboration with visual artist Shirin Neshat and composer Eve Beglarian ; and Provenance,[11] which forms the basis of her album of that name. Her production, Elsewhere: a CelloOpera,[12] which premiered at Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2012, is an imaginative retelling of the Biblical legend of Lot's wife, created with theater director Robert Woodruff, with original text by Erin Cressida Wilson and music by Missy Mazzoli. All Vows, a show that reimagines rock classics such as Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" and Nirvana's "Lithium",[13] premiered at the San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in 2014[14] and was presented at BAM Next Wave Festival in 2015.[15] In July 2017, she performed a reimagining of David Bowie's album "Blackstar", arranged for her by the composer Evan Ziporyn with the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra and Ziporyn conducting.[16] In August 2018, Beiser premiered Mark Anthony Turnage cello concerto "Maya" at The Proms in London's Royal Albert Hall.[17]

Maya Beiser's discography includes thirteen solo albums, multiple studio recordings and film music collaborations. She has collaborated with film composer James Newton Howard and is the featured soloist on several films' soundtracks including The Happening, The Great Debaters, Blood Diamond, Snow White and the Huntsman and After Earth.

Beiser was one of the founding members of the Bang on a Can All Stars.[when?]



  • 1994 The Cello Music of Gubaidulina and Ustvolskaya (KOCH International Classics)
  • 1999 Oblivión (KOCH International Classics)
  • 2000 Caught by Sky with Wire The Maya Beiser / Steven Schick Project (oodiscs inc)
  • 2000 Kinship (KOCH International Classics)
  • 2003 World to Come (KOCH International Classics)[25]
  • 2007 Almost Human (KOCH International Classics)
  • 2010 Provenance (Innova)[26]
  • 2012 Time Loops with Michael Harison (Cantaloupe Music 21086)
  • 2014 Uncovered (Innova)
  • 2016 TranceClassical (Innova)[27]
  • 2018 The Day, with Kate Valk (spoken voice)[28][29]
  • 2019 delugEON[30]
  • 2020 Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar[31]

Other contributions[edit]

  • 1995 Industry, (Sony Classical) album by Bang On a Can All Stars, as solo electric cellist[32]
  • 1996 CHEATING. LYING. STEALING. (Sony Classical)[33]
  • 2002 BANG ON A CAN CLASSICS (Cantaloupe)
  • 2005 You Are (Variations)/Cello Counterpoint (Nonesuch Records), album by Steve Reich, as solo cellist


Beiser contributed to the soundtrack of several films:


  1. ^ "Otherworldly 'Labyrinth' of sound, vision at Gardner Museum – The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  2. ^ Burton-Hill, Clemency. "Maya Beiser: Making classical music sexy and smart". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  3. ^ Brookes, Stephen (2014-11-09). "Avant-garde cellist Maya Beiser's daring hits full throttle". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  4. ^ "Maya Beiser". United States Artists. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  5. ^ "Maya Beiser – Arts at MIT". Arts at MIT. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  6. ^ a b Cummings, Robert. "Maya Beiser Biography & History". Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b Maddocks, Fiona (29 January 2017). "Maya Beiser: 'I think I was born a nonconformist'". Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  8. ^ Beiser, Maya, A cello with many voices, retrieved 2018-02-20
  9. ^ Tommasini, Anthony (2003-11-01). "MUSIC REVIEW; An Evening's Adventure, With a Cellist and Her Voice". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  10. ^ Shattuck, Kathryn (2006-03-09). "An Artistic Trek Across a Surreal Land of Sand and Self-Discovery". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  11. ^ "Maya Beiser Returns The Cello To The Middle East". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  12. ^ Maya Beiser (2013-06-05), Maya Beiser Elsewhere: A CelloOpera, retrieved 2018-02-20
  13. ^ "Maya Beiser review: Cellist casts a rockin' spell". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  14. ^ "Maya Beiser: All Vows | Visit Yerba Buena". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  15. ^ "All Vows". Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  16. ^ "Bowie Symphonic €" Blackstar in concert". Barcelona News.
  17. ^ "Israeli cellist plays her first prom". The JC.
  18. ^ "Review: Cellist Maya Beiser and dancer Wendy Whelan in a 9/11 work like no other".
  19. ^ "Spinning".
  20. ^ "Maya Beiser plays Films for Cello".
  21. ^ "Musicians revealed in 'Uncovered' - The Boston Globe". Retrieved 2018-02-23.
  22. ^ "Avant-garde cellist Maya Beiser's daring hits full throttle".
  23. ^ "Elsewhere". BAM. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  24. ^ "Provenance". Maya Beiser. Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  25. ^ "Maya Beiser – Free listening, videos, concerts, stats and pictures at". Retrieved 2014-08-19.
  26. ^ "Provenance – Maya Beiser | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  27. ^ "TranceClassical – Maya Beiser | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  28. ^ The Day liner notes, Cantaloupe Music CA21135
  29. ^ "the day, by Maya Beiser & David Lang". David Lang. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  30. ^ "Maya Beiser: Amplifying the Heart of a Fragile Planet". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  31. ^ "'Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar' by Maya Beiser Review: Tribute to a Rock Icon The cellist reworks and expands David Bowie's final album".
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Cheating Lying Stealing".
  34. ^ Dan Goldwasser (2008-03-15). "James Newton Howard scores * M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening". Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  35. ^ 2-CD original soundtrack album, Indigo Film IND009

External links[edit]