Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music or exploring cultures and musical forms outside the Western classical tradition, Yo-Yo Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination. Mr. Ma draws inspiration from a wide circle of collaborators, creating programs with such artists as Emanuel Ax, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, Kathryn Stott, Wu Man, Wu Tong, David Zinman and others. Each of these collaborations is fueled by the artists' interactions, often extending the boundaries of a particular genre.
In 1998, Mr. Ma established the Silk Road Project to promote the study of the cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient trade route that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. Mr. Ma has performed a number of newly commissioned works, including chamber pieces created for the specially created Silk Road Ensemble, which tours with these works and traditional music from Silk Road countries. The Project's major activities have included the 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which included more that 400 artists from 25 countries and drew more than 1.3 million visitors, and concerts at the 2005 World Expo in Aichi, Japan.
Yo-Yo Ma is an exclusive Sony Classical artist, and his discography of over 75 albums, including more than 15 Grammy Award winners, reflects his wide-ranging interests, such as Hush, Appalachia Waltz, Appalachian Journey and more. Mr. Ma is strongly committed to educational programs for youth and to develop new concert programs for family audiences. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), he National Medal of the Arts (2001) and the World Economic Forum's Crystal Award (2008), etc. In 2006, Secretary General Kofi Annan named him a U.N. Messenger of Peace.
Pianist: Kathryn Stott
Once studied at the Royal College of Music in London, Kathryn Stott is currently visiting professor both at the Royal Academy of Music, London and Chethams School of Music, Manchester. As a concerto soloist, Ms. Scott enjoys associations with major orchestras in major European and Asian countries. Among her chamber music partnerships, she has long-standing musical relationships with cellists Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mørk and Christian Poltéra, with violinist Janine Jansen and pianist Noriko Ogawa, as well as the legendary clarinetist Paquito d'Rivera.
Her collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and leading South American musicians on the Grammy Award-winning Sony CD Soul of the Tango and its successor Obrigado Brazil led her to become a remarkable exponent of tango and other Latin dance music. Kathryn Stott has been the artistic vision behind several major festivals and concert series in the north of England. In 2008 she was appointed Artistic Director of the Manchester Chamber Concert Series.