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On February 24, Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Tong guest with conductor Long Yu and the New York Philharmonic for the U.S. premiere of Zhao Lin's Duo, a double concerto for cello and sheng, as part of the orchestra's Lunar New Year celebration. The sheng is a traditional Chinese woodwind instrument comprised of 17 bamboo pipes.

"One evening Wu Tong presented me with a beautiful melody, 'Swallow Song', a love song heard on both sides of the border between China and Kazakhstan," says Ma. "The next morning, composer Zhao Lin had made an exquisite version for voice and cello of such sensitivity and taste, I thought maybe one day he might be willing to write a piece for Wu Ton and me -- the result is this Double Concerto 'Duo'."

Discover the program and purchase tickets to the February 24 concert here.

On February 24, Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Tong guest with conductor Long Yu and the New York Philharmonic for the U.S. premiere of Zhao Lin's Duo, a double concerto for cello and sheng, as part of the orchestra's Lunar New Year celebration. The sheng is a traditional Chinese woodwind instrument comprised of 17 bamboo pipes.

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12 days ago | |
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As part of their 15th anniversary celebration, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble embark on an American tour that takes this lab of musical explorers to New York City (February 19, 20, 21), Pittsburgh (February 25), Chapel Hill (February 27), Washington, DC (March 1), Boston (March 4) and Chicago (March 6).

Discover the Silk Road Ensemble's American tour dates here.

In New York City, Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble join Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic for three performances (February 19, 20, 21), which are highlighted by Osvaldo Golijov's Rose of the Winds with the Ensemble alongside the orchestra. While in New York City, the Silk Road Ensemble and Ma will also participate in an open rehearsal on February 19. In Chapel Hill on February 26, Ma and members of the Ensemble will take part in a public conversation moderated by Emil Kang.

"I am so excited to have the opportunity to tour once again with the Silk Road Ensemble this spring," says Silkroad's Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma. "The Silk Road Ensemble demonstrates different approaches to exploring world traditions in a way that--through collaboration, flexible thinking, and disciplined imagination--allows each to flourish and evolve within its own frame. I also consider the Ensemble a lab for culture--for sharing, for being curious, and for finding connections and building trust. Openness is a choice, and I am grateful to my fellow performers for having made it their choice."

Learn more & purchase tickets.

As part of their 15th anniversary celebration, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble embark on an American tour that takes this lab of musical explorers to New York City (February 19, 20, 21), Pittsburgh (February 25), Chapel Hill (February 27), Washington, DC (

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24 days ago | |
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On January 31, 2015, Yo-Yo Ma joins the the Florida Orchestra and conductor Tito Muñoz for a gala concert featuring Dvorak's Cello Concerto. The sold-out performance also includes the composer's Carnival Overture and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol.

On January 31, 2015, Yo-Yo Ma joins the the Florida Orchestra and conductor Tito Muñoz for a gala concert featuring Dvorak's Cello Concerto. The sold-out performance also includes the composer's Carnival Overture and Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol.

1 month ago | |
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Yo-Yo Ma kicks off 2015 with all-Bach solo recitals in Maui, Sonoma, and Bermuda. On January 22 in Maui, January 24 in Sonoma, and February 1 in Hamilton, Bermuda, Ma performs an all-Bach program comprising the composer's First, Third, and Fifth Cello Suites.

Yo-Yo Ma kicks off 2015 with all-Bach solo recitals in Maui, Sonoma, and Bermuda. On January 22 in Maui, January 24 in Sonoma, and February 1 in Hamilton, Bermuda, Ma performs an all-Bach program comprising the composer's First, Third, and Fifth Cello Suites.

1 month ago | |
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Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop (GMW) is now accepting applications for its inaugural session, June 8 - 12, 2015. The mission of Silkroad's GMW is to foster a community of globally minded musicians engaged in learning from one another’s traditions and incorporating them into their own artistic voices.

In addition to Yo-Yo Ma’s participation in select activities, the artist-faculty will teach styles of music from across the world. GMW is directed by Silk Road Ensemble cellist Mike Block. GMW will be taught by an all-star faculty representing a unique range of backgrounds, including Sarah Jarosz (American folk), Sandeep Das (Indian tabla), Kaoru Watanabe (Japanese flutes), Hadi Eldebek (Arabic oud), Shane Shanahan (world percussion), and Mike Block (multi-style strings).

GMW is open to participants over 18 years of age, from any musical background. University/conservatory students as well as professional performers/teachers with backgrounds in Western classical, jazz, world, or folk styles will be accepted.

Learn more & apply here. 

Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop (GMW) is now accepting applications for its inaugural session, June 8 - 12, 2015. The mission of Silkroad's GMW is to foster a community of globally minded musicians engaged in learning from one another’s traditions and incorporating them into their own artistic voices.

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1 month ago | |
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Yo-Yo Ma will speak about cultural citizens and why culture matters in three lectures this December. In his talks and musical demonstrations, he will address the vital role of culture and the arts and sciences in our society and the ways in which each of us can come together to work as "cultural citizens."

The first lecture takes place on December 5 in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the Lied Center for Performing Arts as part of the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues. On December 9, Ma speaks in Sacramento, California, at Memorial Auditorium as part of the Sacramento Speakers Series. Ma will deliver his final lecture on December 10 in Berkeley, California, at Zellerbach Hall as part of the Berkeley Talks series.

Yo-Yo Ma will speak about cultural citizens and why culture matters in three lectures this December. In his talks and musical demonstrations, he will address the vital role of culture and the arts and sciences in our society and the ways in which each of us can come together to work as "cultural citizens."

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2 months ago | |
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Yo-Yo Ma will return to Tanglewood next summer for four performances, beginning with an August 2, 2015 concert with Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and BSO principal violist Steven Ansell featuring Strauss’s Don Quixote. The performance is part of Tanglewood’s season tribute to the 400th anniversary of the publication of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Part II. On August 6, Ma reunites with Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos for an all-Brahms program at Seiji Ozawa Hall. For the second time in their performance history at Tanglewood, Ma and Ax will perform the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas. The recital take place on August 9 in the Koussevitzky Music Shed. And in a special event on August 13, Ma joins fellow cellists Mike Block, Monika Leskovar, and Giovanni Sollima, and the Boston Cello Quartet—comprised of BSO cellists Mihail Jojatu, Alexandre Lecarme, Adam Esbensen, and Blaise Déjardin—for an Ozawa Hall program entitled A Distant Mirror, exploring the musical worlds and contemporary resonances of the 16th and 17th centuries, including the impact of the period’s most celebrated literary figures, Shakespeare and Cervantes.

Discover the 2015 Tanglewood season here.

Yo-Yo Ma will return to Tanglewood next summer for four performances, beginning with an August 2, 2015 concert with Andris Nelsons, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and BSO principal violist Steven Ansell featuring Strauss’s Don Quixote. The performance is part of Tanglewood’s season tribute to the 400th anniversary of the publication of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, Part II. On August 6, Ma reunites with Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos for an all-Brahms program at Seiji Ozawa Hall.

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3 months ago | |
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On November 20, 21, and 22, Yo-Yo Ma joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director Andris Nelsons for three sold-out performances of Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto for cello and orchestra. Prokofiev’s Symphony-Concerto is framed by the world premiere of Lakes Awake at Dawn for chorus and orchestra by Latvian composer Eriks Ešenvalds, as well as performances of John Harbison's choral scherzo Koussevitzky Said:, and Sergei Rachmaninoff's The Bells, featuring solo vocalists Victoria Yastrebova, Pavel Cernoch, Kostas Smoriginas and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus.

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3 months ago | |
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Yesterday Yo-Yo Ma joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Board of Education President David Vitale and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to announce a $38 million arts education funding campaign fueled by private donations from the city’s business, community, cultural and philanthropic leaders. “Be Creative: The Campaign for Creative Schools,” has already raised $11 million toward its goal. The campaign supports the Chicago Public Schools Arts Education Plan, unveiled two years ago.

The announcement was made to a group of students and teachers gathered in the auditorium of Benito Juarez High School in Pilsen. Ma–Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra–participated in the event alongside Renee Fleming, soprano and Creative Consultant to the Lyric Opera; Damian Woetzel, director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program and former principal dancer of the New York City Ballet; Los Angeles-based dancer Lil Buck; and Theaster Gates, a social practice installation artist and Director of Arts and Public Life at the University of Chicago.

“Under this plan, arts education is now a part of the individual school report card, and principals have an incentive to make progress each year,” said School Board President David Vitale. “CPS has begun measuring the impact of arts in all of our schools to increase access to arts education for every student. In doing so, arts education no longer is considered an enrichment program, but is seen as a key factor in student success and school improvement.”

Learn more about Be Creative: The Campaign for Creative Schools

Yesterday Yo-Yo Ma joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Board of Education President David Vitale and Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett to announce a $38 million arts education funding campaign fueled by private donations from the city’s business, community, cultural and philanthropic leaders. “Be Creative: The Campaign for Creative Schools,” has already raised $11 million toward its goal. The campaign supports the Chicago Public Schools Arts Education Plan, unveiled two years ago.

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4 months ago | |
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From October 28 and November 10, 2014, Yo-Yo Ma embarks on a tour of Asia with the Silk Road Ensemble, bringing innovative cross-cultural music to eight major cities. Their musical journey begins in South Korea, with their debut in Daejeon (October 29) as well as a return visit to Seoul (October 28). In Japan, they share their music with audiences in Nagoya (October 31), Osaka (November 2), and Tokyo (November 4) before heading to Taiwan for performances in Taipei (November 6) and Kaohsiung (November 7). The tour culminates in Shanghai on November 10.

Discover the tour schedule & purchase tickets here.

Enjoy updates and share your own memories online as part of Silkroad’s 15th anniversary at #SilkRoad15.

“It is an honor for me to perform with the Silk Road Ensemble for friends both old and new in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and China,” said Yo-Yo Ma, Silkroad Founder and Artistic Director. “My fellow performers and I look forward to sharing music that springs from the cherished traditions of these cultures, and our joy in working together at the place where they intersect. As we celebrate Silkroad’s 15th anniversary, we are grateful for the continuing opportunity to show how music can connect us and enrich our humanity—to share with you how much culture matters.”

These concert programs celebrate the musical traditions of eastern Asia and beyond. Audiences will hear contemporary arrangements of traditional tunes, spirited percussion pieces, captivating solo moments by musicians such as pipa virtuosa Wu Man, and works by celebrated composers such as Jia Daqun and Gabriella Lena Frank, as well as the Ensemble’s own Kayhan Kalhor and Kojiro Umazaki.

This Asia concert is part of Silkroad’s 15th-anniversary season, which has featured performances on three continents, including appearances at Carnegie Hall in North America and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw in Europe. Most recently, filming took place in Turkey for The Sound of Silk, a full-length documentary about the Silk Road Ensemble, directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom). The film will premiere in 2015.

From October 28 and November 10, 2014, Yo-Yo Ma embarks on a tour of Asia with the Silk Road Ensemble, bringing innovative cross-cultural music to eight major cities. Their musical journey begins in South Korea, with their debut in Daejeon (October 29) as well as a return visit to Seoul (October 28). In Japan, they share their music with audiences in Nagoya (October 31), Osaka (November 2), and Tokyo (November 4) before heading to Taiwan for performances in Taipei (November 6) and Kaohsiung (November 7). The tour culminates in Shanghai on November 10.

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4 months ago | |
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