Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma (born October 7, 1955) is an American cellist. Born and partially raised in Paris to Chinese parents and educated in New York City, he was a child prodigy, performing from the age of four and a half. He graduated from the Juilliard School and Harvard University, attended Columbia University, and has performed as a soloist with orchestras around the world. He has recorded more than 90 albums and received 19 Grammy Awards.

In addition to recordings of the standard classical repertoire, Ma has recorded a wide variety of folk music, such as American bluegrass music, traditional Chinese melodies, the tangos of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla, and Brazilian music. He has also collaborated with artists from a diverse range of genres, including Bobby McFerrin, Carlos Santana, Chris Botti, Diana Krall, James Taylor, Miley Cyrus, and Sting.

Ma has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2006. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize in 1978, The Glenn Gould Prize in 1999, the National Medal of Arts in 2001, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, Kennedy Center Honors in 2011, the Polar Music Prize in 2012, and the Birgit Nilsson Prize in 2022. He was named as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.Ma’s primary performance instrument is the Davidov cello, made in 1712 by Antonio Stradivari.

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