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Yo-Yo Ma Quotes


Yo-Yo Ma
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Yo-Yo Ma
  • Born: 7th October 1955, Paris, France
  • Alma mater: Juilliard School, Columbia University and Harvard College
  • Occupation: Musician and cellist
  • Genre: Classical
  • Height: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
  • Notable awards: Apart from his 19 Grammy Awards he has also been awarded the National Medal of Arts (2001) Presidential Medal of Freedom (2011) and the Vilcek Prize in Contemporary Music (2013) to name just a few
  • Inspired by: Edward Elgar, Ennio Morricone, Frédéric Chopin, Johann Christian Bach and Luigi Boccherini
  • Trivia: In 1998 he established his Silkroad project that is an arts and educational organization program that encourages musical multicultural collaboration from musicians from all corners of the globe
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"When your heart and your mind are engaged, you cannot go wrong"

Yo-Yo Ma

"The exploration into different musics of different times has to do with trying to figure out who these people are, what this music represents and what context do we want to give it and what does it mean to us right now"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Music gives you a ton of information subliminally; it’s not just an aural performance, it’s visual, it’s the body language you’re receiving from the audience and relaying back"

Yo-Yo Ma

"I also think, just by observing the performance arts world, huge ego is very often matched by huge insecurity"

Yo-Yo Ma

"I figured out that my passion is not really for music. My passion is actually for people"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Classical music is one of the best things that ever happened to mankind. If you get introduced to it in the right way, it becomes your friend for life"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Each day I move toward that which I do not understand. The result is a continuous accidental learning which constantly shapes my life"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Our cultural strength has always been derived from our diversity of understanding and experience"

Yo-Yo Ma

"When we enlarge our view of the world, we deepen our understanding of our own lives"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Perfection is not very communicative"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Bach takes you to a very quiet place within yourself, to the inner core, a place where you are calm and at peace"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Culture opens our hearts to one another. And the currency in culture is not money, but trust"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Bach’s music has been a great companion, a great friend through thick and thin"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Sharing is a much better way to communicate than proving"

Yo-Yo Ma

"Culture is the table from which economics and politics can thrive"`

Yo-Yo Ma

"The more tense you are, the less you can hear"

Yo-Yo Ma

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Yo-Yo Ma Biography

As classical cellists go none can match the impact Yo-Yo Ma has had in the twentieth and twenty first centuries. This child prodigy who has performed since he was four years old has played to eight presidents dating back to JFK in the early 1960's in a career spanning nearly his entire life.



Completely dispelling the notion that nice guys finish last Ma's undisputed musical talent is matched by his modest humility in a world where the ego usually promotes the talent it is a refreshing change indeed.

On this very subject Yo-Yo was quoted as saying "By observing the performance arts world, huge ego is very often matched by huge insecurity" but Ma despite his success from a pre-primary school age has kept his feet firmly on the ground.

Yo-Yo's Silkroad project is another success based in talent and humility where he has reached out to artists from every corner of the globe to come together in musical collaborations that know no borders and where traditional music is fused to produce some diversely unique recordings.

When he's not performing the likes of Bach he's also good for a one liner, so this is my compilation of 16 of the best Yo-Yo Ma quotes

Quotes About Yo-Yo Ma

The Financial Times critic Laura Battle was impressed to say: "Heir to a legacy left by Pablo Casals and Mstislav Rostropovich, the greatest cellists of the 20th century, Ma is now pre-eminent - but he is loved not just for his musicianship but for the openheartedness he brings to his art"

The eminent conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen was impressed to say: "He had this tremendous skill and charisma, and he was doing it on stage. There was tremendous energy and expression of every note he played"

A Washington, D.C. newspaper, The Evening Star, had a journalist report about his 19th November 1962 performance where the audience included; John F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower and with Leonard Bernstein conducting it was described thus: "Child prodigy Yo-Yo Ma, seven-year old cellist, who is accompanied on the piano by his 11-year-old sister, thrills the multitude at the Armory gathered to hear the special benefit show to promote the building of a National Cultural Center here"


Yo-Yo Ma quote