Cellist Ma ever seeking new terrain

Posted on: July 29, 2010

In Thursday’s (7/29) Wall Street Journal, David Mermelstein writes, “Perhaps someone somewhere is not Yo-Yo Ma’s friend. But the more time one spends with him, the more remote that possibility seems. … This Paris-born, Harvard-educated musician may be the most venerated performing artist today. Which is not at all surprising given his warm personality and peerless musicianship, distinguished by poise, technical prowess and tonal luster. Those qualities will doubtless be displayed on Sunday, when Mr. Ma returns to the Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts’s Berkshire Mountains for a performance of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit. He then reappears at Tanglewood on Aug. 8 with the Silk Road Ensemble, with whom he has explored music’s multicultural intersections since 2000. … He has devoted considerable attention not only to Silk Road—which takes its name and primary focus from the ancient Asian trade route—but also to American roots music, various forms of Brazilian music, and Argentine tango. ‘You go through phases,’ Mr. Ma said, explaining his decision to explore material beyond standard fare. ‘You have to reinvent reasons for playing, and one year’s answer might not do for another.’ ”

Posted July 29, 2010