by Mike Telin
“I look forward to being back in town,” cellist Alisa Weilerstein said by telephone from Berlin. On Thursday, March 15 at 7:30 pm the Cleveland native will return to the Severance Hall stage for a performance of Barber’s Cello Concerto. Guest conductor Alan Gilbert will also lead The Cleveland Orchestra in Dvořák’s The Watersprite and the Symphony No. 8. The program will be repeated on Friday at 11:00 am, minus Watersprite, Saturday at 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 3:00 pm. Tickets are available online.
The concerts are not only a homecoming for Weilerstein, they are also the rekindling of a partnership with Gilbert that dates back to 1995. “I was thirteen and he was the assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra. I played Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations and it was my debut with a professional orchestra,” the cellist said.
Although the Tchaikovsky is a staple of the cello concerto repertoire, Weilerstein noted that Barber is underrepresented on the concert stage.