Utilizing a series of drones, live cello loops, and National Sawdust’s immersive Meyer Sound Spacemap system, Maya Beiser pays tribute to Terry Riley’s classic work In C.

April 6, 2024
7:30 pm
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Dubbed by The New Yorker magazine as a "cello goddess," Maya Beiser creates radical works for the cello, reimagining her instrument's boundaries with her iconoclastic performances and recordings.

On her forthcoming album, a multi-cello tribute to Terry Riley’s epic In C out in April 2024, Maya creates a hypnotic, rapturous soundscape with her cello, constructed from a series of drones and live cello loops. Joined by two of her long-time collaborators, the drummers Shane Shanahan and Matt Kilmer, this performance incorporates spatial sound designed specifically for National Sawdust’s immersive Meyer Constellation system.

Describing cellist, producer, and multifaceted artist Maya Beiser, The New York Times writes, “The adventurous Ms. Beiser has been called the 'cello goddess,' which is not hyperbole: She summons from her instrument an emotional power so stirring that even the most stoic audience members risk turning into sobbing sacks of flesh.” Passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, Maya Beiser has been captivating audiences worldwide, bringing a bold and unorthodox presence to contemporary classical music, reimagining solo cello performance in the mainstream arena, and defying conventional norms with her boundary-crossing performances. Hailed as “the reigning queen of avant-garde cello” by The Washington Post, she has been called a “cello rock star,” by Rolling Stone and praised as “a force of nature,” by The Boston Globe.

Raised on a commune in Israel’s Galilee Mountains, by her Argentinean father and French mother, Maya spent her early life surrounded by the music and rituals of Jews, Muslims, and Christians, while studying classical cello repertoire. Throughout her extensive career she has been a featured performer on the world’s greatest stages among them Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, the Sydney Opera House, Barcelona’s L’Auditori, Paris’ Cité de la Musique, Stockholm’s Concert Hall, and major venues across five continents. Among the wide range of artists with whom she has collaborated are Louis Andriessen, Philip Glass, Tan Dun, Steve Reich, Brian Eno, Mark Anthony-Turnage, Shirin Neshat, Erin Cressida-Wilson, Bill Morrison, Robert Woodruff, Missy Mazzoli, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Evan Ziporyn, Pontus Lidberg, Wendy Whelan, Lucinda Childs, and Joe Hisaishi.

Maya’s vast discography includes fifteen solo albums, many of them topping the classical music charts. She is the featured soloist on numerous film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with composer James Newton Howard for M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening and After Earth, Denzel Washington’s The Great Debaters, Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond, and Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman. Her performance of David Lang’s “world to come” has been featured on the soundtrack for Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar winning film, La Grande Bellezza.

Maya Beiser is a United States Artists (USA) Distinguished Fellow in Music and was a Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology; Invited to present at the prestigious TED main stage in Long Beach, CA, Maya’s TED Talk has been watched by millions of people. She has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts and All Things Considered, PBS NewsHour, and the BBC World News. Maya is a graduate of Yale University.

Apr 6

Maya Beiser: Terry Riley's In C(ello)