Alisa Weilerstein will receive $500,000 in no-strings-attached support over the next five years after being named as a MacArthur Fellow. The 29-year-old cellist was awarded the so-called 'genius' grant by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Weilerstein was one of 22 individuals chosen as 2011 MacArthur Fellows. In a statement, the foundation said: 'All were selected for their creativity, originality, and potential to make important contributions in the future.'