Yo-Yo Ma • Born October 7, 1955 in Paris, France • Moved to NYC when he was 5 • Very Musical Family - Mom was a singer, dad was a violinist and music professor • Started on the violin, then switched to viola. Wanted to play the bass, but compromised with the cello because of the size of the bass.
Started performing for audiences at age 5 • Age 7 - Performed for Presidents John F. Kennedy & Dwight D. Eisenhower • Age 8 - appeared on tv with his sister in a concert conducted by Leonard Bernstein
Education • Age 15 - Graduated from Trinity School in NYC • Trinity - Private School - Notable attendees/alumni include: • Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Connelly, Oliver Stone, Ryu Goto (brother of Midori), Stacy London, and John McEnroe • Studied Cello at Julliard with Leonard Rose • Briefly attended Columbia University before enrolling at Harvard University
Played in Marlboro Festival Orchestra under direction of Pablo Casals • Received his Bachelor’s Degree (liberal arts) from Harvard in 1976 • 2009 - President Obama appointed Ma to serve on the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities
Awards • 1978 - Avery Fisher Prize • 1999 - Glenn Gould Prize • 2001 - National Medal of the Arts • 2006 - Dan David Prize • 2006 - Sonning Prize • 2008 - World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award • Appointed a CultureConnect Ambassador by the U.S. Dept. of State in 2002 - met with, trained and mentored thousands of students worldwide including Lithuania, Korea, Lebanon, Azerbaijan and China • Performed with and conducted master classes for members of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra
Currently plays with his Silk Road Ensemble • Goal is to bring together musicians from diverse countries all of which are historically linked via the Silk Road
Cello • Nicknamed Petunia • Little girl named it when Ma had not. • Made by Domenico Montagnana in 1733 • Valued at $2.5 million dollars • Lost in the fall of 1999 when Ma accidentally left it in a taxicab in NYC • Another of Ma’s cellos, the Davidov Stradivarius, was previously owned by Jacqueline du Pre who passed it to him upon her death • Ma also owns a carbon fiber cello made by the Luis and Clark company of Boston
Music • Very eclectic repertoire including: Baroque period (using period instruments), American Bluegrass, Chinese melodies, Tangos, collaboration with Bobby McFerrin and Philip Glass.
Discography • Movies • 1997 - Seven Years in Tibet • 2000 - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon • 2003 - Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World • 2005 - Memoirs of a Geisha • Has over 75 albums, 15 of which are Grammy Award winners
References • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yo_Yo_Ma • http://www.yo-yoma.com/
Personal Life • 1977 - married long-time girlfriend, Jill Hornor, whom he met while playing in Marlboro Festival Orchestra • She is a German Language professor • 2 - Kids: Nicholas & Emily • Currently resides in Boston, Mass.