- March 26, 2009
Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble receive rave reviews. Yo-Yo and the Silk Road will be performing at Alice Tully Hall in New York City on June 5th and 6th. http://www.lincolncenter.org/search_results.asp?showcode=30541
"Yo-Yo Ma builds new bridges across cultures" - Toronto Star
"There are no words for what Silk Road Ensemble Creates" - Twin Cities Pioneer Press
Click here to read the reviews.
- March 26, 2009
Penn State University will be honoring Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman and Emanuel Ax with the 2009 Institute for the Arts and Humanities Medals for Distinguished Contributions to the Arts and Humanities.
Check out this series of articles from Penn State University about Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax and Itzhak Perlman’s upcoming performances of the Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio.
Yo-Yo Ma will be performing a sold out performance of the Mendelssohn Piano Trio with Itzhak Perlman and Emanuel Ax on Tuesday March 31st at Carnegie Hall.
- March 9, 2009
Ashes of Time was originally completed in 1994, to limited release. Since then, the existing prints and negatives have been damaged or destroyed. Director Wong Kar Wai says, "we decided to revisit this project to create the definitive version." He and his colleagues gathered as much existing material as could be found and restored those elements, using advanced technology that had not existed in the early '90's. He also collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma to create a new soundtrack, rearranging some of the original compositions by Freddie Chan and adding some original ones.
On the Ashes of Time Score, Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Tong, joined a group of young Chinese musicians in the recording studio to re-create the score for Ashes of Time Redux. On this recording, Ma's cello, as the instrument closest in pitch range to our voice, becomes a principal "narrator" telling us of love, life and loss.
To infuse the sounds of East and West for the Ashes of Time Redux score, Chan chose traditional Chinese instruments "dongxiao" (vertical bamboo flute) and "gaohu" (two-stringed fiddle) and recorded a guitar, which can imitate the sound of the "pipa" (Chinese flute). According to Chan, the "dongxiao" epitomizes the solitary existence of swordsmen, while the high-pitched squeaks of the "gaohu" presents the unpredictability of fate and human savagery.
The soundtrack is a testament to the remarkable achievement of artists crossing the great divide between traditional and classical, folk and modern, East and West.
For more information on the film Ashes of Time Redux visit: http://www.sonyclassics.com/ashesoftimeredux
- February 11, 2009
New John Williams Composition Performed at President Obama's Inauguration by Yo-Yo Ma, Anthony McGill, Gabriela Montero and Itzhak Perlman
Now Available Exclusively at iTunes
"Air and Simple Gifts" is a classical quartet written by American composer John Williams for the January 20, 2009 inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States. The piece was first heard by the public in Washington, DC, and on simultaneous broadcasts around the world in a performance by Anthony McGill (clarinet), Itzhak Perlman (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello) and Gabriela Montero (piano). The premiere of Air and Simple Gifts came immediately before the oath of office. Barack Obama officially became the President at noon, as stipulated by the United States Constitution, while the piece was being heard.
John Williams based the piece on the familiar nineteenth-century Shaker hymn Simple Gifts by Joseph Brackett. The source piece is famous for its appearance in Aaron Copland's score for the ballet Appalachian Spring. Williams chose the selection knowing that Copland is one of President Obama's favorite classical composers.
Click to hear an excerpt from “Air and Simple Gifts.”
- January 16, 2009
On the heels of Yo-Yo Ma’s current success with his best-selling album, " Songs of Joy & Peace," the superstar cellist has been invited to perform at the inauguration of President-elect Obama on January 20, 2009. After Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is sworn in by Justice John Paul Stevens, Yo-Yo Ma along with Itzhak Perlman on violin, Gabriela Montero on piano and Anthony McGill on clarinet will perform the new work composed by John Williams, "Air and Simple Gifts." Then, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. will administer the oath of office to Mr. Obama, who will then deliver his inaugural address.
Buy "Songs of Joy & Peace" from Amazon.com or iTunes
- January 15, 2009
Winner To Receive Opportunity To Record With Yo-Yo Ma
NEW YORK – January 16, 2009 – Today on NPR News’ All Things Considered, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will announce the grand prize winner of the Indaba Music contest, “Celebrate and Collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma.” Through Indaba Music, the leading online music collaboration web application and social network, Ma made available a pre-recorded melody of the classic piece, “Dona Nobis Pacem” (Give Us Peace). Members of the Indaba Music community, including musicians from all over the world, were challenged to record a counterpart to Ma’s cello or create a set of variations based on the main musical theme. The grand prize winner will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record with Yo-Yo Ma.
“I have always been a believer in what I can learn from other musicians of all ages, from all musical traditions,” says Yo-Yo Ma. “Through Indaba Music’s growing community of artists, I feel that I will find not only amazing talent with which to work but also engage a new audience – I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.”
An online community of professional, amateur and student musicians, Indaba Music offered this opportunity to work with Yo-Yo Ma to its more than 125,000 artists. Several prominent music schools and music educators used this as a teaching opportunity and integrated it into coursework.
Musicians had until December 31, 2008 to submit their piece. Ma challenged musicians to be creative and inspire him by submitting versions that move beyond the classical genre.
“Yo-Yo Ma values new kinds of artistic collaboration. His latest album, Songs of Joy and Peace, features creative collaborations with some of his favorite artist friends - James Taylor, Diana Krall, Alison Krauss, Chris Botti and Renée Fleming,” says Alex Miller, Senior VP/General Manager of Sony BMG Masterworks & Victor Label Group. “With Indaba Music, we extended an open invitation to the worldwide music community and are excited about what those musicians created.”