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Yo-Yo Ma's Performance With The New York Philharmonic

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The New York Philharmonic opened its 2013 – 2014 season with an experimental performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The performance featured the world-renowned cellist, and included percussionists using non-traditional instruments, as well as an accordionist.

 

Yo-Yo Ma’s Eclectic Performance

In the season opener cello concerto, “Azul,” which was composed for Ma by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov, two percussionists, Cyro Baptista and Jamey Haddad accompanied Ma on instruments from around the world, which are not traditionally utilized in classical performances. The percussion and accordion were accented by scattered bird calls, all of which brought a lively energy to the performance, while underscoring Ma’s resonant cello. Here’s a link to a video on the making of process of this song.

The piece, which proved to be invigorating and novel, received a standing ovation from the crowd.

 

Yo-Yo Ma’s Sucess

Ma is an eclectic performer who is comfortable playing both traditional classical symphonic pieces and experimental compositions which expand the boundaries of the traditional classical performance. An American cellist of Chinese descent, Ma has received many Grammy awards, the National Medal of the Arts, and other honors.  As a child prodigy, he performed for Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.

 

Ma’s wide repertoire should serve as an inspiration to students of the cello by showing how exciting and beneficial it can be to experiment with going beyond the boundaries traditional classical music, to synthesize and experiment with different musical traditions.