For our correspondent, the initial impression of Yo-Yo Ma was to see pictures of his smiling face on TV and Internet but he always seemed very much out of reach, until yesterday… On January 20, she witnessed the cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, offering a wonderful cross-border performance on the occasion of the Davos annual summit 2016. Despite his tight schedule, Yo-Yo Ma met our reporter after the show for a short exclusive interview.
This time o f the year, anumber of politicians, business leaders, reporters and celebrities from all around the world gathered in Davos, Switzerland, to explore issues of public concern.
This year, “EurAsia Info” is very proud to stay in Davos during the World Economic Forum from January 20-23 and have close contact with the legendary world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, appreciating the fact that the famous musician is so approachable!
Yo-Yo Ma, the famous cellist has been born on October 7, 1955 in France but most people know him as a Chinese-American: though born in France, he spent a long time in a New York campus, and on the other hand, he is still Chinese. When Yo-Yo Ma was 4-years-old, he started to learn the piano Meeting with Yo-Yo Ma in Davos – the legendary world-renowned cellist and cello and gave his first performance in front of an audience when he was 5: he was a musical prodigy.
He attended Juilliard School and graduated from Harvard University. As a soloist and recording artist travelling through the world, his career can be described as wind and water. He was not only recording the classical repertoire but also covered a variety of folk music, such as American bluegrass music, traditional Chinese style, Argentine tango composer Ástor Piazzolla and Brazilian music.
Davos 2016 – Music across Borders with Yo Yo Ma
Celebrated musician Yo-Yo Ma brought to gether a world – class ensemble of musicians from a range of traditions for a musical demonstration that explores intercultural dialogue in music and everyday life.
Yo-Yo Ma has enjoyed a prolific career as both a soloist performing with orchestras around the world and a recording artist. In addition to recordings of the standard classical repertoire for his instrument, he has recorded a wide variety of folk music such as American bluegrass music, traditional Chinese melodies, the tangos of Argentinian composer Ástor Piazzolla as well as Brazilian music.
In Davos, Yo-Yo Ma was joined by Sérgio and Odair Assad (Brazil), Sandeep Das (India), Johnny Gandelsman (USA), Cristina Pato (Spain), Kathryn Stott (UK) and Wu Tong (China) and, together, they delivered a world class performance.
Yo Yo Ma gave an introduction to the whole session and provided some background to the various pieces from all over the world, together with his colleagues.
YoYo Ma started the session with a joke, provoking an immediate interaction with the audience. He said: “In almost every culture, at some stage, a child comes to me after a concert telling me: ‘When I grow up, I would like to be a musician like you. ‘ Yo Yo Ma’s response in this case is: ‘Sorry, my friend, you
cannot do both…’”
So, apparently YoYo Ma does not believe that good musicians could ever become adults…For him, the openness of a child or the childlike curiosity is the basis for creativity, discovery, innovation and invention all over the world.
Contact with Yo-Yo Ma – Legendary musician with a very sympathetic character On January 20, 2016 at 2.30 pm, deeply impressed by the performance, I was waiting for Yo-Yo Ma. All others waiting for him had gone for a long time already but I still wanted to wait at the exit of the venue. It took another 15 minutes or so until the last person left the place: it was Yo Yo Ma.
I was overjoyed to see him and said: “Hello Mr. Ma!”
Yo-Yo Ma kindly replied: “Why did you not leave like all the others?”
I do not know why I said: “Because I feel not strong enough as long as I have not spoken to you…”
Yo-Yo Ma: “Are you a reporter?”
EurAsia Info: “Yes. I am a reporter but also the president of “EurAsia Info”, a Chinese newspaper published in Switzerland.”
Yo-Yo Ma smiled and said to me: “I feel you do everything with a very serious attitude and encouragement. I like to support you but please ask quickly as I do not have a lot of time now.”
So just asked one question: “What is the signifcance of the World Economic Forum in Davos to you as you gave a performance here?”
Yo-Yo Ma unexpectedly answered my question with a very serious attitude: “Whether it is in Davos or on other occasions, our performance and my music is a service of humanity and an opportunity to enter a dialogue with the audience and show them the beauty of music. I do not play the cello to be famous; everyone can be sure that it is all about making people happy.”
After that, Mr Ma gave me his business card and said: “We’ll certainly have the opportunity once to talk in more detail.” I replied: “Well, the next one will then rather be a real interview. Thank you for your time!”
Enchanting cellist Yo-Yo Ma
Yo – Yo Ma, the world – famous cellist, apparently has, in addition to his art, an equally convincing charm and charisma. He is playing the cello so naturally as if it was a part of his body. His face is smiling and he makes you feel really happy. Up to a certain degree, he removed the traditional load from the classical music but keeps a deeply humanistic spirit. He is a legendary performer and has a different experience than ordinary people.
Reporter in Davos: Eurasia Info Ailian Zhu