Latest Release : Six Evolutions - Bach Cello Suites
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Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his continual search […]
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
YO-YO MA SIX EVOLUTIONS - BACH: CELLO SUITES AVAILABLE AUGUST 17, 2018
YO-YO MA SIX EVOLUTIONS – BACH: CELLO SUITES Ma’s Ultimate Recording of These Works Available August 17, 2018 New Album Signals the Beginning of a Two-Year Global Bach Journey “Almost no one made a sound. Almost no one moved. When a large audience is listening intently, it creates an atmosphere that cannot be measured or recorded, only […]
YO-YO MA SIX EVOLUTIONS – BACH: CELLO SUITES
Ma’s Ultimate Recording of These Works
Available August 17, 2018
New Album Signals the Beginning of a Two-Year Global Bach Journey
“Almost no one made a sound. Almost no one moved. When a large audience is listening intently, it creates an atmosphere that cannot be measured or recorded, only remembered. Here, it was as if music had stilled the world…he was following his natural musical rhythms, to the point that it felt less like a performance than like an interior monologue…[The audience] was under the spell of a solitary searcher in the dark.”
– Alex Ross, The New Yorker, describing Ma’s 2017 performance of the Bach Cello Suites at the Hollywood Bowl
(June 22 – New York) Yo-Yo Ma will release Six Evolutions – Bach: Cello Suites (Sony Classical), his third and final recording of these works, on August 17, 2018. The album is available now for preorder, including a 3-LP 180-gram vinyl set, and the Bourrées from Suite No. 3 can be heard now on all digital service providers.
“Bach’s Cello Suites have been my constant musical companions,” Ma says of the music. “For almost six decades, they have given me sustenance, comfort, and joy during times of stress, celebration, and loss. What power does this music possess that even today, after three hundred years, it continues to help us navigate through troubled times?”
Ma is more convinced than ever of the suites’ ability to create shared meaning that extends far beyond the here and now. The suites’ collective vision – at once divergent and coherent, empathic and objective – reminds us of all that connects us despite an increasingly discordant public conversation.
Bach and his Cello Suites entered Yo-Yo Ma’s life when he was four, when he learned the first measure of the Prélude to Suite No. 1 under his father’s instruction, and these works have been a through line in his life. His Grammy Award-winning first complete recording of the suites was made in his late twenties. His second, Inspired by Bach, was released in his early forties and recorded alongside a multi-genre, collaborative exploration of the works. Both previous recordings of the Cello Suites, also on Sony Classical, became landmarks in the history of classical discography, as well as milestones in Ma’s musical life. Six Evolutions begins a new chapter in the cellist’s 58-year relationship with this music.
“Now that I’m in my sixties,” Ma says, “I realize that my sense of time has changed, both in life and in music, at once expanded and compressed. Music, like all of culture, helps us to understand our environment, each other, and ourselves. Culture helps us to imagine a better future. Culture helps turn ‘them’ into ‘us.’ And these things have never been more important.”
The August release of Six Evolutions also signals the beginning of a two-year, six-continent journey in which Yo-Yo Ma will devote himself to Bach’s music, playing all six Cello Suites in single sittings in familiar and unlikely locations.
Ma wants to share Bach’s music with an exceptionally large and diverse audience, in celebration of culture’s role in society. Accompanying each performance will be events that seek to put culture in action by bringing people and organizations together to address pressing social issues. Ma believes that at a time of rapid change, culture must play a central role in shaping our future.
Six Evolutions will not only offer an essential encapsulation of what this music means now to one of our most celebrated artists. It is also an invitation to think differently about the role of culture in society.
“I share this music, which has helped shape the evolution of my life, with the hope that it might spark a conversation about how culture can be a source of the solutions we need,” Ma says. “It is one more experiment, this time a search for answers to the question: What we can do together, that we cannot do alone? I invite you to join me on this adventure.”
Sony Music Masterworks comprises Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait and Masterworks Broadway imprints. For email updates and information please visit www.sonymusicmasterworks.com/
Release Date: August 17, 2018
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007
- Menuets I & II
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008
- Menuets I & II
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009
- Bourrées I & II
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 4 in E-Flat Major, BWV 1010
- Bourrées I & II
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor, BWV 1011
- Gavottes I & II
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012
- Gavottes I & II
BACH: Complete Cello Suites 2018 Performance Dates:
(For more information on these dates and others – click here)
Aug. 1 Red Rocks Amphitheater – Denver, CO
Aug. 12 Blossom Music Festival – Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Sep. 2 Nikolaikirche – Leipzig, Germany
Sep. 30 Greek Theatre at UC Berkeley – Berkeley, CA
Nov. 29 Washington National Cathedral – Washington, DC
Dec. 7 Montreal Bach Festival – Montreal, Canada