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
Dvorak: Piano Trios Opp 65 & 90 / Ax, Kim, Ma
Release Date: 07/22/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 55374   Number of Discs: 1
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Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
Release Date: 10/27/2009   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 752307   Number of Discs: 90
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Goldenthal: Fire Water Paper - A Vietnam Oratorio / Ma, Panagulias, St. Clair
Release Date: 07/22/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 56114   Number of Discs: 1
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Shostakovich: Trio Op 67, Cello Sonata / Ax, Stern, Ma
Release Date: 07/22/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 55628   Number of Discs: 1
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Beethoven: Cello Sonata no 4, Variations / Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax
Release Date: 07/22/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 55358   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 227 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Complete Rca And Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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  • 2.
    Beethoven: Cello Sonata no 4, Variations / Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55358 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax
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  • 3.
    Dvorak: Piano Trios Opp 65 & 90 / Ax, Kim, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55374 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Kim Young Uck,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax
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  • 4.
    Goldenthal: Fire Water Paper - A Vietnam Oratorio / Ma, Panagulias, St. Clair
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56114 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Elliot Goldenthal
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Ana Panagulias,  James Maddalena
    Conductor:  Carl St. Clair
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Pacific Symphony Orchestra,  Pacific Chorale,  Pacific Chorale Children's Choir  ... 
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  • 5.
    Schubert: Piano Trio No 1; Brahms: String Sextet No 2; Bach / Isaac Stern
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56158 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Leonard Rose,  Isaac Stern,  Eugene Istomin,  Lin Cho-Liang  ... 
    Conductor:  Isaac Stern
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Franz Liszt Academy Chamber Orchestra
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  • 6.
    Shostakovich: Trio Op 67, Cello Sonata / Ax, Stern, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55628 Release Date: 07/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma
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  • 7.
    Brahms: Piano Concerto No 2, Cello Sonata / Ax, Ma, Haitink
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56137 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Jules Eskin,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 8.
    Chopin: Introduction & Polonaise, Cello Sonata, Trio / Ma, Frank, Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56099 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Pamela Frank,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax,  Ewa Osinska
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  • 9.
    Lieberson: King Gesar / Ma, Ebrahim, Serkin, Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56117 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Lieberson
    Performer:  Deborah Marshall,  Peter Serkin,  Omar Ebrahim,  András Adorján  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Lieberson
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  • 10.
    Meyer, Bottesini: Concertos / Edgar Meyer, Bell, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56148 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Bottesini,  Edgar Meyer
    Performer:  Edgar Meyer,  Joshua Bell,  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Hugh Wolff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Rachmaninov, Prokofiev: Cello Sonatas / Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55640 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax
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  • 12.
    Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht, String Trio / Ma, Trampler, Juilliard Quartet
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55853 Release Date: 04/22/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Arnold Schoenberg
    Performer:  Walter Trampler,  Robert Mann,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Samuel Rhodes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Juilliard String Quartet
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  • 13.
    Dvorak: Piano Quartet, Romantic Pieces, Sonatina / Ax, Stern, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56141 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Jaime Laredo,  Isaac Stern,  Yo-Yo Ma  ... 
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  • 14.
    Kreisler, Paganini / Yo-Yo Ma, Patricia Zander
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 54718 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cécile Louise Chaminade,  Antonín Dvorák,  Niccolň Paganini,  Fritz Kreisler
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Patricia Zander
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  • 15.
    New Impossibilities / Harth-Bedoya, Ma, Silk Road Ensemble
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56286 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Rabih Abou-Khalil,  Osvaldo Golijov,  Huang Hai-huai,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Kojiro Umezaki,  Yo-Yo Ma,  DaXun Zhang,  Yang Wei  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Qi Lin,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Robert White Sings Beethoven / White, Ma, Kavafian, Sanders
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 53398 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Robert White,  Samuel Sanders,  Ani Kavafian
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  • 17.
    Shostakovich, Kabalevsky: Cello Concertos / Ma, Ormandy
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 54727 Release Date: 01/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Dmitri Kabalevsky
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Barber: Cello Concerto; Britten: Symphony for Cello & Orchestra / Yo-Yo Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55630 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Mozart: Divertimento K 563 / Kremer, Kashkashian, Ma
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55348 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Kim Kashkashian,  Yo-Yo Ma
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  • 20.
    Previn: From Ordinary Thing / Yo-Yo Ma, Sylvia McNair
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 56123 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  André Previn
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  André Previn,  Sylvia McNair,  Sandra Church
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  • 21.
    Strauss, Britten: Cello Sonatas / Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 55632 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax
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  • 22.
    A Playlist Without Borders / Yo-yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 371092 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vijay Iyer,  Wu Man,  Shane Shanahan,  Ahmed Adnan Saygun  ... 
    Performer:  Wu Man,  Mark Suter,  Shane Shanahan,  Sandeep Das  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble
    CD: $14.99
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  • 23.
    A Playlist Without Borders / Yo-yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble [CD & DVD]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 375715 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Vijay Iyer,  Wu Man,  Shane Shanahan,  Ahmed Adnan Saygun  ... 
    Performer:  Wu Man,  Mark Suter,  Shane Shanahan,  Sandeep Das  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Karajan - 1970s
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001873702 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 82
    Composer:  Arcangelo Corelli,  Francesco Manfredini,  Pietro Antonio Locatelli,  Giuseppe Torelli  ... 
    Performer:  Thomas Brandis,  Michel Schwalbé,  Karlheinz Zöller,  Edith Mathis  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Hans Priem Bergrath
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Berlin Deutsche Oper Chorus  ... 
    CD: $313.99
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  • 25.
    Leon Fleisher - The Complete Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 545997 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  César Franck,  Frederick Delius  ... 
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher,  Jules Eskin,  Benita Valente,  Harold Wright  ... 
    Conductor:  George Szell,  Seiji Ozawa,  Leon Fleisher,  Szymon Goldberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland Orchestra,  Juilliard String Quartet,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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