Yo-Yo Ma

Composers

Biography

Born: October 7, 1955; France  
Yo-Yo Ma is among the finest cellists of his generation, and a musician of unusually broad appeal. His great success is no doubt due to an easygoing, friendly stage personality in addition to his fine, adventurous musicianship.

Indeed, Ma appears to have music in his blood: his mother was a singer in Hong Kong, his father a conductor, composer, and teacher. Although he had his first cello lessons at age four, memorizing two bars of
Read more Bach's cello suites every day, he had initially studied the violin, then the viola. When he was seven, the family moved to New York so that Ma could study with Janos Scholz. At the age of eight, Ma appeared on American television on "The American Pageant of the Arts," in a concert conducted by Leonard Bernstein. He joined the junior department of the Juilliard School as a pupil of Leonard Rose. However, he left Juilliard in 1971, questioning whether he would continue with his cello studies despite international recognition while still in his teens.

Ma eventually enrolled at Harvard, where teachers, including composers Leon Kirchner and Earl Kim, gave him confidence to continue. The most important turning point, though, was a trip to the Marlboro Festival, where he heard the great cellist Pablo Casals perform. Says Ma, "The commitment behind each note, the belief he had, was a wonderful example."

In 1978 Ma won the Avery Fisher Prize, establishing himself as one of a very few genuine superstars in classical music. Since then, he has appeared with nearly all of the world's great orchestras and conductors. He also is active in chamber music, often in a piano trio with Young Uck Kim and Emanuel Ax; Ma and Ax won a Grammy award for their recording of the Brahms cello sonatas. In 1982 Ma was invited to appear in the inaugural concert of the London Symphony Orchestra's new concert hall at the Barbican Centre in London, where he played in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II. He has won numerous Grammy awards, recording such diverse music as Brazilian bossa nova, Argentine tango, American roots and bluegrass, and the soundtrack for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In 1998 he founded the Silk Road Project, to explore the exchange of musical ideas that occurred along the trade route. His CDs of the early 2000s have touched on both traditional and crossover repertory, with two albums of Vivaldi's music recorded with keyboardist and conductor Ton Koopman emerging as successful examples of the former, and the Obrigado Brazil CD becoming another crossover best seller.

Playing a Montagnana cello and the "Davidov" Stradivari previously used by Jacqueline du Pré, Ma produces a relatively lean and focused, though warm, tone, with a tight, fast vibrato. His performances are a unique blend of rhapsodic and seemingly spontaneous music-making; at the same time, his playing is tempered by intellectually rigorous analysis and forethought. He places great importance on not repeating performances from the past, either those of other artists or his own. Read less

There are 162 Yo-Yo Ma recordings available.

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Composers

Biography

Born: October 7, 1955; France  
Yo-Yo Ma is among the finest cellists of his generation, and a musician of unusually broad appeal. His great success is no doubt due to an easygoing, friendly stage personality in addition to his fine, adventurous musicianship.

Indeed, Ma appears to have music in his blood: his mother was a singer in Hong Kong, his father a conductor, composer, and teacher. Although he had his first cello lessons at age four, memorizing two bars of
Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
I. The Protecting Veil
II. Annunciation
III. The Incarnation
IV. Lament of the Mother of God at the Cross
V. Christ is Risen!
VI. The Dormition of the Mother of God
VII. The Protecting Veil
I. Andante: Allegro vivace
II. Adagio: Allegro vivace
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Allegretto grazioso
III. Poco adagio
IV. Finale: Allegro con brio
I. Lento maestoso
II. Andante
III. Andante moderato (quasi tempo di marcia)
IV. Allegro
V. Lento maestoso
Part I. Offertorium
Part II. Scherzo "giang co" (Tug of War)
Part III. Hymn
I. Allegro non troppo, ma con brio
II. Adagio
III. Un poco allegretto
IV. Vivace ma non troppo presto
I. Andante: Moderato
II. Allegro con brio
III. Largo
IV. Allegretto
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Allegro
III. Largo
IV. Allegro
I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante ma non troppo
III. Finale. Allegro vivo
I. Dialogo. Allegro
II. Scherzo Pizzicato. Allegretto
III. Elegia. Lento
IV. Marcia. Energico
V. Moto Perpetuo. Presto
Cut The Rug: Drag The Goat
Cut The Rug: Bury The Hatchet
Cut The Rug: Move The Earth
Cut The Rug: Wake The Dead
I. Allegro ma non troppo
II. Adagio
III. Scherzo: Presto-Trio: Andante sostenuto
IV. Allegretto
Nicht zu schnell
Langsam
Sehr lebhaft
I. Zart und mit Ausdruck
II. Lebhaft, leicht
III. Rasch, mit Feuer
Langsam, mit innigem Ausdruck
Rasch und feurig
I. Mit Humor
II. Langsam
III. Nicht schnell, mit viel Ton zu spielen
IV. Nicht zu rasch
V. Stark und markiert
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007: Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Menuett I/II
Gigue
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008: Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Menuett I/II
Gigue
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009: Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Bourrée I
Gigue
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major, BWV 1010: Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011: Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Gavotte I/II
Gigue
Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 6 in D Major, BWV 1012: Prélude
Allemande
Courante
Sarabande
Gavotte I/II
Gigue
I. Allegro
II. Adagio, ma non troppo
III. Finale. Allegro moderato
I. Allegro
II. Intermezzo. Allegro ma non troppo - Trio. Animato
III. Andante con moto
IV. Rondo alla Zingarese. Presto
Quartet No. 3 in C minor for Piano and Strings, Op. 60: I. Allegro non troppo
II. Scherzo. Allegro
III. Andante
IV. Finale. Allegro comodo
Quartet No. 2 in A Major for Piano and Strings, Op. 26: I. Allegro non troppo
II. Poco adagio
III. Scherzo - Trio. Poco allegro
IV. Finale. Allegro
Beethoven: Concerto For Piano, Violin, And Cello In C, Op.56 - 1. Allegro
Beethoven: Concerto For Piano, Violin, And Cello In C, Op.56 - 2. Largo - attacca:
Beethoven: Concerto For Piano, Violin, And Cello In C, Op.56 - 3. Rondo alla Polacca
I. Audacemente ma sostenuto
II. Con brio - instante (urgent)
III. Larghetto
IV. Con moto; con imminenzo e inquieto
I. Moderato
II. Adagio religioso
III. Allegro vivace
Nicht zu schnell
Langsam
Sehr lebhaft
Fantasiestücke, Op. 73: I. Zart und mit Ausdruck
II. Lebhaft, leicht
III. Rasch, mit Feuer


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