Yo-Yo Ma receives prestigious contemporary music prize

8 February 2013, 12:01

The French-born Chinese cellist Yo-Yo Ma has been given a special award that recognises the cultural impact of immigrant artists in the US.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has been awarded the 2013 Vilcek Prize for Contemporary Music. The award was given to Ma in recognition of his achievements not only in classical music, but his work in the fields of modern genres like tango, bluegrass and various areas of world music.

The Vilcek Prize is designed to honour the musical achievements of immigrant artists in the US, and spans all genres but this year has focused on contemporary music. It also comes with a $100,000 prize.

Maria Vilcek, Vice President of the Vilcek Foundation, commented: "Yo-Yo Ma 's faith in the connection between the arts and enlightened citizenship echoes that of the Vilcek Foundation.  We are delighted to bestow the prize to someone who understands how art brings people together, no matter where in the world they are from."

Other prizes were awarded to British songwriter James Abrahart (better known as JHart), Ghanaian producer/composer Blitz the Ambassador and Armenian vocalist Tigran Hamasyan.