Yo-Yo Ma and John Williams, longtime collaborators—and friends

Posted on: May 26, 2022

“On a new album, A Gathering of Friends, John Williams and Yo-Yo Ma continue an artistic collaboration going all the way back to Williams’ tenure as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra in the early ’80s, eventually resulting in Williams composing a cello concerto with Ma’s preternatural talent in mind,” reports Mary Louise Kelly in Tuesday’s (5/24) National Public Radio. “The new album includes a revisited version of that concerto, along with new arrangements of film scores including Schindler’s List, Lincoln and Munich featuring the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Williams. The pair [recalled] those collaborative beginnings, the process of creating for film and shared (some of) the enormous respect they have for each other… and maybe poke a little fun.” Says Williams, “I’d already learned about this wunderkind who played cello, and was very excited to meet him when he came to the [Boston] Pops for one of our television recordings…. I was enormously impressed with this fantastically mature art from such a young person.” Ma said, “John has a great capacity to make me blush.” Ma and Williams’ audio interview is included.