Alisa Weilerstein's musical journey

11 February 2013, 18:36

From playing a cardboard cello made from a cereal box and a toothbrush, to following in Jacqueline du Pré's musical footsteps, the cellist shares her journey to recording the Elgar Cello Concerto.

After begging her mother for a cello when she was just four, Alisa Weilerstein grew up listening to recordings of the Elgar Cello Concerto - a piece forever linked with the famous cellist Jacqueline du Pré. Now, almost 50 years after this definitive version of the piece was recorded, Alisa is tackling the work herself on her latest album.

"I listened to that several times a day between the ages of four and eleven," she said. "I was always absolutely sure that I wanted to be a cellist."

In this in-depth interview with John Suchet, she explains how playing a cardboard cello at the age of two eventually led to performing in front of - and collaborating with - conductor Daniel Barenboim.