From the Old Musician Jokes file:
Q: What’s the difference between a washing machine and a cellist?
In partial atonement for that, here is cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who in no way resembles anything Whirlpool ever made:
There is, I think, a hint of just-this-side-of-scary intensity to her, and in this rehearsal video, you get to see it turned On and Off.
Born in 1982, she graduated from Columbia in 2004 with a BA in Russian history. By then, she’d been playing the cello for eighteen years already, and how she got to this industrial-strength instrument at that age demands an explanation:
There was one time when my father was in Europe playing concerts with the [Cleveland] Quartet, and my mother was about to leave town to play concerts with other colleagues. The night before she left, I got chicken pox. My grandmother, who was coming to take care of me in any case, felt so sorry for me that she brought me a string quartet of instruments that she had made herself — out of cardboard cereal boxes. The cello, made out of a Rice Krispies box with an old toothbrush for the endpin, was the instrument I immediately fell in love with. I ignored the others completely.
Intensity even then.
(Rejected original title: “All my bass are belong to her.”)