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Yo-Yo Ma

Latest Release : You'll Never Walk Alone

You'll Never Walk Alone
Released 19 Feb 2021

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Biography

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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Videos

Press Release

YO-YO MA & KATHRYN STOTT SHARE NEW VIDEO “LONDONDERRY AIR (DANNY BOY)” FROM CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED ALBUM SONGS OF COMFORT AND HOPE

      YO-YO MA & KATHRYN STOTT SHARE NEW VIDEO “LONDONDERRY AIR (DANNY BOY)” FROM CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED ALBUM SONGS OF COMFORT AND HOPE  Today, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott debut a new performance video of the traditional Irish song “Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)” – watch here.  Their recording of the song can be found on […]
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YO-YO MA & KATHRYN STOTT SHARE NEW VIDEO “LONDONDERRY AIR (DANNY BOY)” FROM CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED ALBUM SONGS OF COMFORT AND HOPE

 Today, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott debut a new performance video of the traditional Irish song “Londonderry Air (Danny Boy)” – watch here.  Their recording of the song can be found on their recently released album, Songs of Comfort and Hope, available now on Sony Classical.

“This very beautiful song holds such a special place in so many of our hearts,” says Stott of “Londonderry Air (Danny Boy).” “The arrangement by the violinist Fritz Kreisler is just glorious and transports the soul to wherever we want it to be.”

Songs of Comfort and Hope is inspired by the series of recorded-at-home musical offerings that Ma began sharing in the first days of the COVID-19 lockdown in the United States. Throughout the spring and summer, Yo-Yo Ma’s #SongsofComfort grew from a self-shot video of Antonín Dvořák’s “Goin’ Home” into a worldwide effort that has reached more than 20 million people.

Ma and Stott marked the next chapter in the project with this album, offering consolation and connection in the face of fear and isolation. The album includes 21 new recordings, which span modern arrangements of traditional folk tunes, canonical pop songs, jazz standards, and mainstays from the western classical repertoire. “Songs are little time capsules of emotions: they can contain long-lost dreams and desires, and feelings of great spirit, optimism, and unity,” Ma and Stott write of Songs of Comfort and Hope.

Songs bring a sense of community, identity, and purpose, crossing boundaries and binding us together in thanks, consolation, and encouragement. It had long been our wish to explore this medium further, but we could never have imagined that the catalyst would be a pandemic that fundamentally rearranged our ways of living. This is music that tells stories, that marks occasions private and public, that gives voice to celebrations, remembrances, and all of life’s mysteries. These are songs that pay tribute to musical champions of social justice — like Paul Robeson and Violeta Parra — and to the troubadours of our joy, imagination, and sorrow — like Francis Poulenc, Wu Tong, and Benjamin Britten.”

Among the new takes on old favorites are Pulitzer Prize® winner Caroline Shaw’s artful and eloquently arranged “Shenandoah”; Australian composer Harry Sdraulig’s “Fantasia on Waltzing Matilda”; pianist Stephen Hough’s lush arrangement of “Scarborough Fair”, and two-time Academy® Award-nominated icon Jorge Calandrelli’s re-imagining of a pair of songbook treasures: “We’ll Meet Again” by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, and Violeta Parra’s “Gracias a la Vida. See the full track list below.

Ma and Stott’s recording partnership began in 1985, and includes Soul of the Tango and Obrigado Brazil, each of which garnered a GRAMMY® Award for “Best Classical Crossover Album. Most recently, in 2015, they released the critically acclaimed Songs from the Arc of Life, of which NPR wrote, “Over those many years, they’ve developed a wonderfully warm and mutually responsive musical partnership that has blossomed in performances that are both generous and incisive.”

Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott share the warmth of decades of music making again with Songs of Comfort and Hope, offering audiences new paths into treasured musical memories and a few notes of hope for a better future.

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

CONNECT WITH THE ARTISTS

 YO-YO MA

WEBSITE: http://www.yo-yoma.com/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/YoYoMa

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/yoyoma

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/yoyo_ma

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/YoYoMaVEVO

 

KATHRYN STOTT

WEBSITE: http://www.kathrynstott.com/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/kathystott

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/stott.kathryn

 

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