Stringed theory

From the Old Musician Jokes file:

Q: What’s the difference between a washing machine and a cellist?
A: Vibrato.

In partial atonement for that, here is cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who in no way resembles anything Whirlpool ever made:

Alisa Weilerstein

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.”)


  1. Luther »

    2 August 2011 · 10:58 pm

    Loved the fire in the rehearsal video. If only I were smart, musically inclined, and much, much younger… then I could possibly fantasize. But alas.

  2. Tatyana »

    3 August 2011 · 8:51 am

    …and she is fluent in French!

  3. Daphne »

    3 August 2011 · 3:51 pm

    She’s exquisite, Charles.

  4. Late Night With Rule 5 Sunday: Hanging On The Telephone : The Other McCain »

    8 August 2011 · 1:30 am

    […] Mr. G Guy celebrates hit 25K with some anonymous tart on a bedsheet. Dustbury this week has cellist Alisa Weilerstein and Zooeypalooza 11. Fishersville Mike reminds us that it’s going to be football season soon, […]

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