Yo-Yo Ma

Latest Release : Brahms: The Piano Trios

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Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his continual search […]
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Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences, and to his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music or exploring cultures and musical forms outside the Western classical tradition, Mr. Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination.

One of Mr. Ma’s goals is the exploration of music as a means of communication and as a vehicle for the migrations of ideas across a range of cultures throughout the world. Expanding upon this interest, in 1998, Mr. Ma established Silkroad, a nonprofit organization that seeks to create meaningful change at the intersections of the arts, education, and business.  Under his artistic direction, Silkroad presents performances by the acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble and develops new music, cultural partnerships, education programs, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. More than 80 new musical and multimedia works have been commissioned for the Silk Road Ensemble from composers and arrangers around the world. Silkroad’s ongoing affiliation with Harvard University has made it possible to develop programs such as the Arts and Passion-Driven Learning Institute for educators and teaching artists, held in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a new Cultural Entrepreneurship initiative in partnership with Harvard Business School.

As the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, Mr. Ma is partnering with Maestro Riccardo Muti to provide collaborative musical leadership and guidance on innovative program development for The Negaunee Music Institute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and for Chicago Symphony artistic initiatives. Mr. Ma’s work focuses on the transformative power music can have in individuals’ lives, and on increasing the number and variety of opportunities audiences have to experience music in their communities.  In March 2016, he was appointed Artistic Advisor at Large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of their expansive initiatives honoring the centenary of JFK’s birth and to encourage the idea of creative citizenship.

Mr. Ma is also widely recognized for his strong commitment to educational programs that bring the world into the classroom and the classroom into the world. While touring, he takes time whenever possible to conduct master classes as well as more informal programs for students – musicians and non-musicians alike. He has also reached young audiences through appearances on “Arthur,” “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “Sesame Street.”

Mr. Ma’s discography of over 100 albums (including 18 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests.  He has made several successful recordings that defy categorization, among them “Appalachia Waltz” and “Appalachian Journey” with Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer, and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil, “Obrigado Brazil” and “Obrigado Brazil – Live in Concert.” Mr. Ma’s recent recordings include: “The Goat Rodeo Sessions,” with Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Stuart Duncan, which received the 2013 Grammy for Best Folk Album, and “Songs from the Arc of Life,” with pianist Kathryn Stott.  His most recent release, “Sing Me Home,” recorded with the Silk Road Ensemble, was released in April 2016 as the companion album to documentary film The Music of Strangers.  Created by Oscar-winning producer Morgan Neville, the film follows the Ensemble’s more than 50 musicians, composers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution.  Mr. Ma remains one of the best-selling recording artists in the classical field.  All of his recent albums have quickly entered the Billboard chart of classical best sellers, remaining in the Top 15 for extended periods, often with as many as four titles simultaneously on the list.

Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and soon came with his family to New York, where he spent most of his formative years. Later, his principal teacher was Leonard Rose at The Juilliard School. He has received numerous awards, among them the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the National Medal of Arts (2001), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010).  In 2011, Mr. Ma was recognized as a Kennedy Center Honoree. He is currently serving as a UN Messenger of Peace and as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts & the Humanities.  Most recently, Mr. Ma has joined the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees.   He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.

Mr. Ma and his wife have two children. He plays two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.

For additional information, see: www.yo-yoma.com, www.silkroadproject.org, and www.opus3artists.com

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Press Release

EMANUEL AX, LEONIDAS KAVAKOS AND YO-YO MA IN FIRST RECORDING TOGETHER: THE COMPLETE PIANO TRIOS OF BRAHMSAx, Kavakos and Ma to Perform All Three Brahms Piano Trios Throughout the US During the 2018 Concert Season  Recording Available September 15, 2017, on Sony Classical

EMANUEL AX, LEONIDAS KAVAKOS AND YO-YO MA IN FIRST RECORDING TOGETHER: THE COMPLETE PIANO TRIOS OF BRAHMSAx, Kavakos and Ma to Perform All Three Brahms Piano Trios Throughout the US During the 2018 Concert Season  Recording Available September 15, 2017, on Sony Classical Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his longtime collaborator, pianist Emanuel Ax, are joined […]
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THE COMPLETE PIANO TRIOS OF BRAHMSAx, Kavakos and Ma to Perform All Three Brahms Piano Trios

Throughout the US During the 2018 Concert Season 

Recording Available September 15, 2017, on Sony Classical

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his longtime collaborator, pianist Emanuel Ax, are joined by violinist Leonidas Kavakos in their first recording together for Sony Classical, of the piano trios of Johannes Brahms. Ax and Ma have collaborated in a distinguished catalog of Brahms recordings for Sony Classical, but this is their first recording together of the Piano Trios – and their first collaboration with Kavakos. Sony Classical will release the recording of Brahms: The Piano Trios on September 15, 2017.

During the 2018 concert season, Ax, Kavakos and Ma will reunite for a series of US performances of all three of the Brahms Trios heard on the new recording –Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8; Trio No. 2 in C Major, Op. 87; and Trio No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 101.

The Second and Third Trios were written and first performed in quick succession (1882 and 1883), both examples of Brahms at his creative zenith. The same can be said of the First Trio: originally completed when he was twenty, in 1854, and premiered the following year, Brahms thoroughly rethought and revised it in a new version premiered early in 1890. That more elegant and concentrated version of a youthful work has become the standard for the First Trio, and it is the version performed on the recording by Ax, Kavakos, and Ma.

For Ma, who believes Brahms wrote “really difficult music to play well,” the collaboration with an old friend (Ax) and their new colleague (Kavakos) was an extraordinary experience. “What I was impressed by was that we could listen to a take and each one of us would make comments, but there was never a disagreement. We actually added these elements together, and it became a better performance. That was unusual. That doesn’t happen often with three people, whether they know one another or not.”

“From the very first note we ever played, Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma and I felt a priceless blessing,” Kavakos says, recalling how their collaboration began. “After playing just the Op. 8 Trio in Tanglewood, the urge to repeat and expand was immediate. Performing all the trios was the next step, from which the idea of this recording was born. It has been an experience full of musical joy. It is my hope that listeners will join us in experiencing all this and more, in what has been an absolutely amazing musical and human journey.”

Emanuel Ax speaks of his own passion for the music of Brahms and the Piano Trios. “To be able to work on these masterpieces again with my friends Leonidas and Yo-Yo is a great privilege,” Ax said. “The glory of such musical masterpieces is that no one performance can exhaust everything in them. It is because of the infinite depth and variety of Brahms’s genius that we hope to be part of the long tradition of this wonderful music.”

All three performers have been acclaimed for their interpretations of Brahms, as soloists and as colleagues. Between them, Ax and Ma have shared four Grammy Awards for their recordings of Brahms’s chamber music. With Kavakos, they first performed all three Brahms Piano Trios at the Tanglewood Festival in 2015. They will repeat the program in US concerts during the 2018 season.

Sony Music Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait and Masterworks Broadway imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.sonymusicmasterworks.com/


Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos Yo-Yo Ma
Brahms: The Piano Trios
Release Date: September 15, 2017


Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major, Opus 87

1          Allegro
2          Andante con moto
3          Scherzo: Presto
4          Finale: Allegro giocoso

Piano Trio No. 3 in C Minor, Opus 101

1          Allegro energico
2          Presto non assai
3          Andante grazioso
4          Allegro molto

Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Opus 8

5          Allegro con brio
6          Scherzo: Allegro molto
7          Adagio
8          Finale: Allegro

Concert Dates with Brahms Repertoire:

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2018                 Symphony Hall – Boston, MA
Thursday, Feb 22, 2018                     Carnegie Hall – Stern Auditorium, NYC
Friday, Feb 23, 2018                          Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Washington, DC
Sunday, Feb 25, 2018            Symphony Center – Chicago, IL
Monday, Feb 26, 2018                        Cobb Great Hall, Michigan State – East Lansing, MI
Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018                 Zellerbach Hall – Berkeley, CA
Thursday, Mar 1, 2018                       Bing Concert Hall – Palo Alto, CA
Saturday, Mar 3, 2018                        Copley Symphony Hall – San Diego, CA
Sunday, Mar 4, 2018                          Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA


Amazon Physical                              http://smarturl.it/YoYo-BrahmsTrio-cd
Amazon Digital                                 http://smarturl.it/YoYo-BrahmsTrio-ad
iTunes                                                http://smarturl.it/YoYo-BrahmsTrio

For More Info on Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma, see below.


Website: http://emanuelax.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/EmanuelAx
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EAxpiano/


Website: http://www.leonidaskavakos.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leonidas.kavakos.violin


Website: http://www.yo-yoma.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YoYoMa
Twitter: https://twitter.com/yoyo_ma
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/YoYoMaVEVO


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