Saturday, January 27, 2007

Yo-Yo Ma

If I were a silly woman who sat around making lists of dream lovers, Yo-Yo Ma would be in the top two.

I have never needed to know much more about him than how he plays a cello.

I have found some things out for the purposes of sharing him with you. He was born in Paris in 1955 to two musicians. He began studying cello when he was four and began performing in public at five. His first American appearance was at eight years old. He graduated from high school at fifteen and went on to Juilliard School of Music, Columbia University and finally Harvard. He questioned whether he would make a career in music, but then was inspired by Pablo Casals and the result is very fortunate for us, indeed.

Both his wife and sister are violinists and his brother in law is a guitarist. What life sounds like near them is beyond my comprehension. It must be paradisaical.

I know people who are not patient enough to listen to classical music, and it is a shame, because it is a long march from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Suite, which is a lot of people's initial exposure, to the art of Ma. If you are interested, "The Silk Road Project" shows a wide variety of music played by a group assembled by Ma, and includes music unexpectedly apt from the film "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

Ma has won fifteen Grammy's and the Glenn Gould Prize. To me he is simply a music god.

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