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Cellist Alisa Weilerstein redefines the concert experience with her latest project, FRAGMENTS, presented and co-commissioned by Washington Performing Arts, at The Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on Saturday, April 6 at 4:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  

FRAGMENTS is a multi-year collection of 27 new works blended with Bach’s Cello Suites in six unique, hour-long programs. Tracing a powerful and wholly original emotional arc, each FRAGMENTS program embraces a wide variety of compositional voices, the composers being diverse in age, race, gender, geography, compositional approach, musical style and stage of career (see below for the complete list).

Weilerstein gives the world-premiere of FRAGMENTS 4 at the 4:00 p.m. performance, featuring commissions from Courtney BryanGabriel KahaneMatthias PintscherMissy Mazzoli, and Paul Wiancko. She presents the regional premiere of FRAGMENTS 2 at the 7:30 p.m. performance, featuring commissions from Ana Sokolovic, Alan Fletcher, Caroline Shaw, Gity Razaz, and Daniel Kidane.

Each FRAGMENTS program is approximately 65 minutes and is performed without pauses, applause, or advance program order in a multi-sensory production directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer, and artistic producer and advisor Hanako Yamaguchi. The concerts feature responsive lighting and architectural elements by Seth Reiser and original costumes by Carlos J Soto.

“The staging serves as a way of guiding the audience,” Weilerstein said. “It’s not narrative theater. It’s abstract, yet very, very emotional. Some things will be familiar to people. Some things obviously will not be. To me, that’s very exciting! It’s the way I would want to experience a concert or a performance myself.”


The 7:30 p.m. concert also is the second-annual Ruth Bader Ginsburg Memorial Recital—a Washington Performing Arts performance honoring longtime friend of the organization and elevating new work of established and renowned artists. In summer 2021, Washington Performing Arts established the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Memorial Fund to celebrate the Justice’s life, legacy, and love of music with an annual award and recital in her memory. The Washington Performing Arts Ruth Bader Ginsburg Memorial Recital serves as a creative initiative connecting Justice Ginsburg’s love of music, the esteemed artists she championed and befriended, and the future of the vocal and instrumental arts in which she delighted.

Fellow co-commissioners of FRAGMENTS include The San Diego Symphony, UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures, Carnegie Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and Celebrity Series of Boston.

FRAGMENTS ticket prices range from $40 to $75 and are available at   www.washingtonperformingarts.org/event/alisa-weilerstein 

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