• 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."

    Join Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at the Theatre de Champs-Élysées.

  • 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.

    Listen to the On Being podcast at its website.

    Download the podcast from iTunes.

  • Amazon is currently offering “Classic Yo-Yo” and “Essential Yo-Yo Ma” as part of its Greatest Hits sale. The digital albums can be purchased at a special discounted price for a limited time through September 15.

    Download “Essential Yo-Yo Ma” 

    Download “Classic Yo-Yo”

  • 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).

    Join Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble on their European tour.

    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.”

  • This summer Yo-Yo Ma gives solo, chamber, and orchestral performances across the United States, appearing at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, Tanglewood Festival, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, Blossom Music Center, and Ravinia Festival.

    Wolf Trap with National Symphony Orchestra

    Yo-Yo Ma’s summer performances begin August 2, when he guests with the National Symphony Orchestra in Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor, led by Thomas Wilkins. The concert takes place at the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.

    Tanglewood Concerts & August 10 Broadcast

    Yo-Yo Ma returns to the Tanglewood Festival on August 7 for a recital of chamber music with pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos. The all-Brahms program comprises the composer’s Second Sonata in F Major for Piano and Cello, as well as Brahms’s B Major Piano Trio. Three days later on August 10, Ma joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra, led by David Zinman, for a concert featuring Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme and Andante cantabile for cello and orchestra. The August 10 concert, which begins at 2:30pm ET, will be broadcast live by WMNR on the radio and on the web. Check your local listings here.

    Saratoga Springs with Philadelphia Orchestra

    On Saturday, August 8, Yo-Yo Ma appears with the Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Bramwell Tovey, at the ensemble's summer home in Saratoga Springs, New York for a concert that includes Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme.

    Solo Bach at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre & Elgar at Hollywood Bowl

    Yo-Yo Ma then heads west for a recital of solo Bach at UC Berkeley’s Greek Theatre on August 12. Ma continues his West Coast performances with a return to the Hollywood Bowl on August 14, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Leonard Slatkin.

    Elgar with Cleveland Orchestra & Ravinia Festival with The Knights

    The American cellist’s summer season concludes with two performances in the Midwest. First on August 16, Ma takes the stage of the Blossom Music Center, where he reprises Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra led by Jahja Ling. Then on August 21, Ma appears at the Ravinia Festival with The Knights, soloing with the orchestral collective in Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra.  

  • Visit the beautiful new The Silk Road Project website to find out what the group is doing with the arts & education!

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