- September 8, 2014
On Tuesday, September 9, Yo-Yo Ma will be honored with the Concertgebouw Prize for his career-long contributions to the Dutch institution’s artistic profile. Simon Reinink, managing director of the Concertgebouw, stated: "Since the beginning of his rich musical career, Yo-Yo Ma has had a close bond with the Concertgebouw. It was no coincidence that he was the first musician invited to curate the inaugural Carte Blanche series in the 1992/1993 season. It affirmed a warm musical relationship that continues to this day."
Previous recipients of the Concertgebouw Prize include mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli (2004), the Beaux Arts Trio (2006), conductor Bernard Haitink (2007), the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (2009), pianist Maurizio Pollini (2010), baritone Thomas Hampson (2011) and violinist Janine Jansen (2013).
Yo-Yo Ma is currently on European tour with the Silk Road Ensemble. They perform at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw on September 10.
- September 8, 2014
To celebrate his creative partnership with the Dutch music scene, Sony Music releases "In Good Company: Yo-Yo Ma in the Netherlands" ("In Goed Gezelschap: Yo-Yo Ma in Nederland"), a five-CD box set featuring bonus archival footage, a 40-page hardcover book, and tributes from collaborators. The music included on "In Good Company" spans music from Bach, to Boccherini, to Reijseger, to Tan Dun.
- September 6, 2014
On Monday, September 8, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble give their first performance together at Paris's Theatre des Champs-Élysées, celebrating 15 years of cultural exploration through music. For Silk Road Project founder Yo-Yo Ma, the concert is remarkable:
"In 1941, my father's dissertation at the Sorbonne was published. The topic was 'La musique chinoise du style Europeen.' 60 years later, in 2001, the Silk Road Ensemble made its first world tour across three continents, addressing a similar idea: we performed music that spanned the Mediterranean to the Pacific, joining millennia-old traditions with contemporary forms, celebrating and connecting tradition with innovation. It is particularly moving to me that we are performing at the Theatre de Champs-Élysées, which opened in the heyday of Debussy and Ravel only 24 years after the Exposition Universelle where they first encountered gamelan music and other musics from around the world. This transformational moment had two results: the invention of a new 'world classical music', and music that became and remained even more quintessentially French. At Silk Road, for the past 15 years, we have been modeling this same value of joining tradition with innovation. We hope you will join us in our continuing exploration."
- September 5, 2014
Yo-Yo Ma sat down with Krista Tippett for a feature-length conversation about performance as hospitality, his philosophy of curiosity about life, and beauty. The podcast is available to enjoy at the On Being website, on iTunes, and with the On Being App.
- September 4, 2014
- September 4, 2014
From September 3 to 11, 2014, Founder and Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma will tour Europe with the Silk Road Ensemble, bringing their border-crossing musical experience to audiences in Izmir (3 September), Istanbul (4 September), Paris (8 September), Amsterdam (10 September), and Luxembourg (11 September).
In Istanbul, the Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble will be joined by Aynur, a celebrated Turkish singer of Kurdish ancestry, who will be a special guest vocalist for the world premiere of Kayhan Kalhor’s Layers of Loneliness. Mr. Kalhor’s new work incorporates folk melodies and improvisation based on three Kurdish poems about love, loss, and the longing to find a loved one.
“One of my favorite things about the Silk Road Ensemble,” said Yo-Yo Ma, Silkroad Founder and Artistic Director, “is the way we introduce each other to music and musicians whose work we are passionate about. In programming concerts, we hope to extend our own experience of curiosity and collaboration to our audiences, both familiar and new. In Europe, we will revisit old favorites as well as newer music: from our friends and fellow performers Kinan Azmeh, Kayhan Kalhor, and Colin Jacobsen, and also boundary-crossing composers Vijay Iyer and David Bruce, whose pieces Playlist for an Extreme Occasion and Cut the Rug highlight our latest album, A Playlist Without Borders. I'm proud of the way that Silkroad—in the concert hall, at Harvard University, and elsewhere—has helped to define the idea of cultural entrepreneurship and to make sure that the arts and the new ideas they bring are part of society's most important conversations. As we celebrate Silkroad’s 15th anniversary, we look forward to sharing some of the wonderful music that has resulted from our explorations at the edge.”
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom) continues his filming in Turkey for a documentary in progress about the Silk Road Ensemble. In Mr. Neville’s words, The Sound of Silk will serve as a lens for larger questions about cultural identity in a global society, and the potential for individuals to act as catalysts for change. Like the ancient Silk Road itself, The Sound of Silk will make the foreign familiar while challenging long-held notions of identity and our place in the world.”