Talking about social justice with Yo-Yo Ma and New York Philharmonic’s Deborah Borda

Posted on: March 22, 2019

“Creating and performing music can seem far removed from efforts to promote social justice, but two prominent speakers urged an audience at Harvard Business School Wednesday to see them as intimately related pursuits,” writes John Laidler in last Friday’s (3/15) Harvard Gazette. “Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma ‘76 and Deborah Borda, president and CEO of the New York Philharmonic … discussed the ways in which ‘citizen musicians’ can help build a more just and free society as an extension of their work as artists…. Borda spoke of the New York Philharmonic’s efforts to engage with social issues, including gender equality. Recognizing that ‘all the music we play was written by men,’ the organization is launching an initiative next year … to have 19 women write major world premieres for the orchestra…. Ma has incorporated the goals of social justice and peace into his musical work…. Ma is performing Bach’s 36 pieces for solo cello … at 36 locations worldwide over the course of two years. The project includes a ‘day of action’ at each location in which participants discuss and collaborate on ways culture can help build a better future. ‘In my mind, there’s no separation,’ Ma said of music and civic engagement.”

Posted March 22, 2019