The many-faceted career of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is testament to both his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences and his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Whether performing a new concerto, revisiting a familiar work from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music, or exploring musical forms outside of the Western classical tradition, Mr. Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination.
Mr. Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber music activities. He draws inspiration from a wide circle of collaborators, each fueled by the artists’ interactions. 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, Mr. Ma established the Silk Road Project to promote the study of the cultural, artistic, and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade route that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.
Mr. Ma has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006) and the Sonning Prize (2006). Mr. Ma and his wife have two children. He plays two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.