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October 07

Yo-Yo Ma

To foster music globalization, Ma created the Silk Road Project, an organization named for the ancient trade route that fosters global musicians and musical connections in countries around the globe.

Photo by Waring Abbott/Premium Archive/Getty Images

1955: Cello’s Child Prodigy
Yo-Yo Ma is born in Paris, France
Soon after a music professor began to teach his four-year-old to play the cello, he quickly realized his son was no ordinary music student. Later that year, the family immigrated to New York City in order for the young boy to continue his musical studies. At five, he began performing in public; at seven, he played for President Kennedy. Yes indeed, by all comparisons, Yo-Yo Ma was a pee wee cello prodigy.

Ma eventually enrolled at the Juilliard School, then went on to graduate from Harvard University. Today, Ma’s expressiveness and technical brilliance defies categorization. Tackling all kinds of music from classical to folk, baroque to bluegrass, Ma is believed to be the world’s premiere cellist.
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