FRAGMENTS is a multi-year project for solo cello that weaves together the 36 movements of Bach’s solo cello suites with 27 newly commissioned works.

The compositions blend to combine five to six composers to create six hour-long chapters, to be released independently over several seasons. Each chapter will have a Bach solo cello suite fragmented through the chapter. 

Enhanced by responsive lighting and scenic architecture by set and lighting designer Seth Reiser, the music is performed without pause and without a programme, making for an original and immersive audience experience.

’My greatest hope is to deepen the connection between audience and artist through a series of unique performances that embrace the world we live in without sacrificing the intellectual and aesthetic qualities that make this artform such a singular mode of human expression,’ American cellist Alisa Weilerstein explained. 

The 27 composers - all at different stages of their careers, from 9 different countries, ranging from 26 to 83 years old - were given the same prompt: ’write 10 minutes of music in 2 or 3 fragments with permission to interrupt the order with Bach and the other composers.’

The featured composers are: 

  • Andy Akiho
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Courtney Bryan
  • Alan Fletcher
  • Gabriela Lena Frank
  • Osvaldo Golijov
  • Joseph Hallman
  • Gabriel Kahane
  • Daniel Kidane
  • Thomas Larcher
  • Tania Leon
  • Allison Loggins-Hull
  • Missy Mazzoli
  • Gerard McBurney
  • Jessie Montgomery
  • Reinaldo Moya
  • Jeffrey Mumford
  • Matthias Pintscher
  • Gity Razaz
  • Gili Schwarzman
  • Caroline Shaw
  • Carlos Simon
  • Gabriela Smith
  • Ana Sokolović
  • Joan Tower
  • Mathilde Wantenaar
  • Paul Wiancko
  • Chen Yi

Performances of Chapters 1 and 2 will begin in early 2023.