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Yo-Yo Ma Biography
The many-faceted career of cellist Yo-Yo Ma is a testament to his search for new ways to communicate with audiences and to his own desire for artistic growth and renewal. Whether performing a new concerto, revisiting a familiar work from the cello repertoire, reaching out to young audiences and student musicians, or exploring cultures and musical forms outside the Western classical tradition, Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination. Sony Classical has been his partner throughout his career, documenting his interpretations of the mainstream repertoire and collaborating in his search for new ways of making music.
Born in Paris in 1955 to Chinese parents, Yo-Yo Ma began his cello studies with his father at the age of four. He later studied with Janos Scholz and, in 1962, became the pupil of Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School of Music. He received the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize in 1978 and is a graduate of Harvard University, from which he also received an honorary doctorate in 1991. Ma and his wife, Jill, have two children, Nicholas and Emily.
Ma is an exclusive Sony classical artist, and his discography of over fifty albums includes thirteen GRAMMY Award winners. It also demonstrates his wide-ranging interests. In addition to the standard concerto, chamber and solo repertoire, he has recorded many of the works he has commissioned or premiered. His most recent recordings reflect his diverse musical interests and his quest for stimulating new sounds.
In November 1997 Ma was named Artist of the Year in the Gramophone Awards.