Born in 1955 to Chinese parents living inParis, Yo-Yo had a very musical upbringing. His mother was a singer, while his father was a conductor and composer.
He began to study the violin, then the viola, before taking up the cello. When he was seven years old he and his family moved toNew Yorkand soon afterwards he appeared on American television in a concert conducted by Leonard Berstein.
He studied cello at the Juilliard School of Music inNew Yorkbefore following a postgraduate arts education atHarvardUniversity.
He has performed with most of the world's major orchestras and won numerous awards including a mantelpiece-full of Grammys. His recordings and performances of Johann Sebastian Bach's suites for unaccompanied cello are particularly acclaimed, and he has also played a good deal of chamber music.
Yo-Yo Ma is the founder of the Silk Road Project, a musical and educational initiative promoting the study of the cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Roadroute.
Did you know?
Yo-Yo Ma has a reputation for having one of the most eclectic repertoires in classical music. He has performed and recorded Baroque pieces on period instruments, American bluegrass music, traditional Chinese melodies, Argentinian tangos, Brazilian music as well as soundtracks to the films 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' and 'Memoirs of a Geisha'.
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Best Yo-Yo Ma recordings
Cello Suite No.1 in G major (1) Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750 : Germany) Conductor: Cello Suite No.1 in G major BWV.1007
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