Yo-Yo Ma

“All the things I love about life outside music have to do with people, and playing the cello allows me to fulfill all those interests through music.”

Yo-Yo Ma

© Jason Bell


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.



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    Barbican Centre

    “…In Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto we were flying from the start. Ma goes about everything with passion, but there’s always a special furnace heat when he’s holding a cello. Rapture radiating from his face, he soared through the score with a fusion of thrusting power and lyrical refinement. The ancient cello problem – getting heard above a busy orchestra – wasn’t banished altogether, but it’s comforting to know that Ma is human. And when Shostakovich reduced the dynamics in the slow movement, Ma’s controlled pianissimo offered the sweetest nectar…”

    Geoff Brown, The Times 

    “…Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto is tough in a different, more sardonic way. It needs a cellist of immense personality and authority to project the solo part, which we certainly had in the person of Yo-Yo Ma. He had the measure of this piece, all the way from the demonic high melodies of the 1st movement (like a dancer poised above the cauldron of the orchestra) to the deep inwardness of the cadenza leading to the finale. The emotional amplitude of Ma’s performance sprung as always from his keen awareness of the other players. His musing interplay with the violas in the slow movement, and the tremendous solo horn of Tim Jones in the cadenza, were among the most striking moments…”

    Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph