Mila Wellerson



Competition Winner

Born: 1910 (New York, NY)

Died: 1972 (Holland)

American cellist Mila (Mildred) Wellerson was a child prodigy who had begun making public appearances by the age of four. Her first public concert was at age 6 by appearing with a "baby cello" which her father, a pianist, had constructed by putting a long peg on a viola.

Casals heard her play at age 13 and stated, "The violoncellist, Mila Wellerson, possesses the genius of her instrument. She was ready to play in public at ten years of age. Today she has been recognized as a great artist in the music centres of Europe."

She and her twin sister, violinist Eugenia, were taught by their mother who had her own career as a professional cellist. The twin sisters made their New York debut on April 30, 1916 at the Carnegie Chamber Music Hall. On March 20, 1920, Wellerson made her official solo debut at the Carnegie Chamber Music Hall as well as giving several other important concerts that year, including at Aeolian Hall and at the main auditorium of Carnegie Hall, in which she played her own composition Lullaby (The Cranky Baby). She appeared as soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra on November 8, 1920, under the direction of Eugene Ysaye. In the spring of 1922, she toured Europe.

In 1930, she was named a winner of the Naumburg Prize. In 1935, she performed a benefit performance for Polish Jews at Town Hall and in 1937, a Carnegie Chamber Music Hall recital with composer Boris Levenson, as well as appearances at Radio City Music Hall in 1934, and with WPA Groups in 1939.

Ms. Wellerson presented a debut recital under the auspices of the Naumburg Foundation on March 29, 1931 in Town Hall, performing a program of Couperin's Pieces en concert; Boccherinni's Concerto in D major; Bach's C major suite; Stojowski's Concertstuck; Ravel's Piece en forme de Habanera; Bochcherini's Rondo and Zigeunertanz by Jeral.

Wellerson moved to Holland in 1952 and settled in the Hague. It is unclear when she died, however, she was still living in Holland in 1972 and it is unknown what became of her after 1972.

The Mildred Wellerson Papers are at the New York Public Library.


1930 Naumburg Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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