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Yo-YoMa

WORLD’S GREATEST LIVING CELLIST

ALEXANDER M SMITH Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:01:32 AM ET


YO-YO MA (PAGE EDITED BY ALEX Y. AND ALEX S.)
"I think that in today's world no one grows up listening to one music. Part of being alive in this world is knowing who
you are and how you fit in the rest of the world. I’m certainly interested in what the rest of the world thinks and feels
and how they want to express themselves in sound." – Yo-Yo Ma

"Every time I open a newspaper, I am reminded that we live in a world where we can no longer afford not to know our
neighbors." – Yo-Yo Ma

CONTENTS

Political, Social, and Economic Chart ....................................................................................


Summary ................................................................................................................................
Timeline ..................................................................................................................................
Embedded Technology ..........................................................................................................
Citations/Bibliography.............................................................................................................

Yo Yo Ma plays his Luis and


Clark Cello, made of carbon
fiber. Page 2

ALEXANDER M SMITH Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:01:32 AM ET


YO-YO MA (PAGE EDITED BY ALEX Y. AND ALEX S.)

Social, Economic, and Political Chart

Yo Yo Ma (right)
performs at the
inauguration
ceremony of
President Barack
Obama.

SOCIAL ECONOMIC POLITICAL

1.Strongly committed to educational 1.Has performed at the World 1.Yo Yo Ma was named Peace
programs that bring young audiences Economic Forum in 2008, which was Ambassador to the United Nations in
into the world of music. (Yo-Yo Ma’s held in Switzerland. (Yo-Yo Ma’s 2006 by the Secretary Kofi Annan.
Website) Website) (Yo-Yo Ma’s Website)
2.Recently released a new CD 2. Regularly performs at charity 2. Founded the Silk Road Project, the
"Songs of Joy and Peace", with the events to raise money for community mission of which was to bring
purpose of celebrating universal and fundraisers and others in need. (Yo- together musicians from many
international hopes, dreams and good Yo Ma’s Website) diverse countries. (Yo-Yo Ma’s
cheer of holidays as they are Website)
celebrated in other cultures. (Yo-Yo
Ma’s Website)
3.Conducts masterclasses and 3.Yo-Yo Ma has recorded over 75 3.Appointed by Barack Obama to
performances to connect music to CD's, 15 of which have won serve on the President's Committee
young musicians so that music and Grammy awards. (Yo-Yo Ma’s of Arts and Humanities. (Yo-Yo Ma’s
creativity will be a part of their lives Website) Website)
from a young age. (Yo-Yo Ma’s
Website)
4.Part of Ma's worldwide appeal is 4.He collaborated with John 4.Appointed a CultureConnect
his ability to communicate with the Williams on the original score for the Ambassador by the U.S. Department
audience warmly and in an engaging 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha. (Yo- of State, which allowed him to meet
manner when he is performing. (Yo- Yo Ma’s Website) and teach students in other countries.
Yo Ma’s Website) (Yo-Yo Ma’s Website)
5. Attended Harvard University to 5. One of his cello's is worth $2.5 5.Performed at the Inauguration of
obtain a degree in Humanities, million dollars (he once left it in the President Barack Obama in January
because he felt the diversity there back of a taxicab in New York City, 2009. (Yo-Yo Ma’s Website)

opened up possibilities not available but later recovered it undamaged). Page 3
at a music conservatory. (Yo-Yo (The Boston Globe)
ALEXANDER M SMITH Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:01:32 AM ET
Ma’s Website)
YO-YO MA (PAGE EDITED BY ALEX Y. AND ALEX S.)

Summary of Accomplishments
Music In The Eyes of Yo-Yo Ma:
Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole,
flows from heaven to the soul. Yo-Yo Ma, a French-born American cellist, brought this generic definition of music
to whole new level. His frequent collaborations with musicians and artists from other genres and media
reinvigorated classical music and expanded its audience. Ma believes that music is a way to express oneself,
finding their identity in a very diverse world, “I think that in today’s world no one grows up listening to one music.
Part of being alive in this world is knowing who you are and how you fit in the rest of the world. I’m certainly
interested in what the rest of the world thinks and feels and how they want to express themselves in sound.”(The
Silk Road Project)

Early Life: The Birth of a Musical Prodigy


Yo-Yo Ma was considered a musical prodigy, in other words, a musical genius. His father, Hiao-Tsuin Ma,
recognized his son’s talent and started him immediately on his musical career as a cellist. Yo-Yo was expected to
memorize two measures of the Six Bach Suites for the Unaccompanied Cello each day.(Worth 9) Little did he
know that the music he was memorizing would later win him a Grammy Award. Ma made his first debut in the
prestigious Carnegie Hall in 1971, performing the Bach suites.(Worth 37) In 1985, he won his first Grammy award
from his recordings of the Six Unaccompanied Bach Cello Suites, which have the reputation as one of the most
difficult, but beautiful pieces of music ever composed for the cello. In total, Yo-Yo Ma has won sixteen total
Grammy Awards, his latest being from his new album, “songs for peace and joy”. Out of 75 of his albums, 15 of
them are Grammy Award Winners.

Transformation of Music:
Yo-Yo Ma transformed music and brought music to a completely new level that was not yet discovered. Ma's
versatility among music genres and his large repertoire separate him from many other cellists. Yo-Yo Ma brought
music to a new level by being able to express the emotions and feelings that the composer was trying to send out
through the music being performed. From the first movement of suite no. 1 of the Bach suites, Yo-Yo Ma describes
the prelude to open "like light becoming stronger," and the he feels that he is out in nature while playing it.(Worth
9) Suite No. 3 is considered "the most popular of all," according to David Blum. Ma interprets this suite to be
"noble and exuberant." Suite No. 4, for Ma, is " the most profound of all the suites.(Worth 11) It expresses the
sadness felt be the composer. In conclusion of the Six Suites for Cello composed by Bach, Suite No. 6 "is exalted,
and celebrates the glory of life."(Worth 11) When Yo-Yo Ma performs, he is absorbed into the music he is playing
and through his body language, he is able to vividly portray the emotions of the song being performed.

The Silk Road Project and Yo-Yo Ma's Grand Goal as a Musician
Notified as a child prodigy, Yo-Yo Ma made a shocking decision to expand his education at Harvard University,
majoring in humanities. After graduating Harvard University in 1976, Ma felt the growing desire to unite cultures
all over the world.(The Silk Road Project) By 1998, Yo-Yo Ma established the Silk Road Project to promote his
goal of uniting cultures over the world, “Every time I open a newspaper, I am reminded that we live in a world
where we can no longer afford not to know our neighbors.” He wanted to expand the exploration of music as
means of communication as a vessel for the migrations of ideas across a range of cultures throughout the world,
and through the Silk Road Project, he was able to accomplish his goal.(The Silk Road Project)

To Conclude:
Yo-Yo Ma is respected as one of the finest cellists all over the world. His collaborations with other musicians
enabled him to reinvigorate classical music and expand its audience greatly. Ma acknowledges that having
versatility within foreign music genres make a musician that much better. Not only was Yo-Yo Ma a very
accomplished cellist through his many Grammy Awards, he also was a man he sought to unify different cultures

together. Through the Silk Road Project, Yo-Yo Ma was able to do so, gathering musicians all over the worldPage to 4
collaborate together and perform.
ALEXANDER M SMITH Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:01:32 AM ET
YO-YO MA (PAGE EDITED BY ALEX Y. AND ALEX S.)

Timeline and Citations/Bibliography


Works Cited
AP Images. The Associated Press, 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.apimages.com>.
Attanas, John. Yo-Yo Ma: A Life in Music. New York: John Gordon Burke Publishing , 2003. Print.
“Biography.” The Official Yo-Yo Ma Site. Sony Music Entertainment, 2010. Web. 7 Mar. 2010. <http://www.yo-
yoma.com/‌yo-yo-ma-biography>.
Eichler, Jeremy. “Inside the Box.” The Boston Globe 3 Aug. 2008, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine ed.: n. pag. Web.
5 Mar. 2010. <http://www.boston.com/‌bostonglobe/‌magazine/‌articles/‌2008/‌08/‌03/‌inside_the_box/>.
Ma, Yo-Yo. “Bach: The Cello Suites, Suite No. 1 in G Major, Prelude (BWV 1007).” You Tube. Web. 11 Mar. 2010.
<http://www.youtube.com/‌watch?v=dZn_VBgkPNY>.
- - -. “Bach: The Cello Suites, Suite No. 6 in D Major, Gigue (BWV 1012).” You Tube. Web. 11 Mar. 2010. <http://
www.youtube.com/‌watch?v=LRS-ESud2Xg>.
- - -. “Suite No. 3 for Violoncello Solo in C Major, Prelude (BWV 1009).” Bach: The Cello Suites. Sony BMG
Music Entertainment, 1997. MP3 file.
Scientific American. Yo-Yo Ma: Carbon Fiber Cello. 25 Feb. 2009. Scientific American.Com. Nature America Inc.,
n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.scientificamerican.com/‌article.cfm?id=carbon-fiber-cellos>.
The Silk Road Project Inc. “Mission and Vision.” The Silk Road Project. Org. The Silk Road Project, 2010. Web. 27
Feb. 2010. <http://www.silkroadproject.org/‌AboutUs/‌MissionVision/‌tabid/‌195/‌ Default.aspx>.
- - -. “Yo-Yo Ma.” The Silk Road Project. Org. The Silk Road Project, 2010. Web. 28 Feb. 2010. < http://
www.silkroadproject.org/‌MusicArtists/‌SilkRoadEnsemble/‌ PerformersComposersTabbed/‌YoYoMa/‌tabid/‌
197/‌Default.aspx.>.
- - -. Yo-Yo Ma performs with another member of the Silk Road Ensemble. 2007. The Silk Road Project. Org. The
Silk Road Project, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://www.silkroadproject.org/‌Portals/‌0/‌Uploads/‌Images/‌
DSC_7293_3_Resize.jpg>.
Telegraph.co.UK. Yo-Yo Ma peforms at the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. Jan. 2009. Telegraph.Co.UK.
Telegraph Media Group Limited, n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2010. <http://i.telegraph.co.uk/‌telegraph/‌multimedia/‌
archive/‌01245/‌inauguration_music_1245705c.jpg>.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Yo-Yo Ma. 3 Apr. 2009. University of Nebraska- Lincoln. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar.
2010. <http://newsroom.unl.edu/‌releases/‌2009/‌04/‌03/‌Yo-Yo+Ma+to+perform+at+Lincoln%27s+Lied+Center
+for+Performing+Arts>.
Whiting, Jim. Yo-Yo Ma, A Biography. Westport, Conneticut: Greenwood Press , 2008. Print.
Worth, Richard. Yo-Yo Ma. New York: Infobase Publishing, 2007. Print.
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ALEXANDER M SMITH Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:01:32 AM ET

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