- NAME: Yo-Yo Ma
- OCCUPATION: Musician
- BIRTH DATE: October 07, 1955 (Age: 58)
- Did You Know?: By age 5, Ma had reportedly memorized three of Johann Sebastian Bach's solo suites.
- Did You Know?: Yo-Yo Ma plays a Venetian 17th century Montagnana cello and a Davidoff Stradivarius
- EDUCATION: The Juilliard School, Columbia University, Harvard University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Paris, France
- Full Name: Yo-Yo Ma
- AKA: Yo Yo Ma
- ZODIAC SIGN: Libra
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Yo-Yo Ma is an acclaimed cellist and songwriter who has produced dozens of albums and won more than 15 Grammy Awards.
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Born on October 7, 1955, in Paris, France, Yo-Yo Ma is a cellist and songwriter of Chinese descent. The child prodigy attended the Juilliard School and continued to excel throughout his adult life, producing more than 75 albums and winning more than 15 Grammy Awards. The acclaimed musician also served as artistic director of the Silk Road Project, an organization dedicated to promoting the various traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade route. In 2001,
"I think there are so many ways to become interested in music. I believe signs of sustained interest gives a sense of the right time. Music, if thought of as a language, would perhaps indicate that as early as possible is not so bad. I do believe that a really nurturing first teacher that makes the child love something is crucial."
"The role of the musician is to go from concept to full execution. Put another way, it's to go from understanding the content of something to really learning how to communicate it and make sure it's well-received and lives in somebody else."
"Jazz has been such a force in music, that any musician, including classical composers, have been influenced, and obviously performers, also."
"Good things happen when you meet strangers."
Ma was awarded the National Medal of Arts. In 2011, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Born on October 7, 1955, in Paris, France, Yo-Yo Ma is a a classically trained cellist and songwriter of Chinese descent who was brought up playing pieces created by the great masters. Ma's mother was a singer and his father was a composer and teacher of music.
In the beginning, it was his father who would train both Ma and his older sister, Yeou-Cheng, in the classics. His sister was taught the violin and piano, often waking up at 4 or 5 a.m. to practice.
By the age of 3, Ma was beginning to receive the same treatment. Having begun violin lessons when he was a toddler, Ma began playing the cello when he was just 4 years old. By age 5, he had reportedly memorized three of Johann Sebastian Bach's solo suites. Despite the great pressure both he and his sister felt from their parents to be the best, Ma attributes his early success to his father's teaching style and rigor.
When he was 7, Ma moved with his family to New York. At a young age, Ma was already one of the most famous classical musicians in the world. The child prodigy went on to attend the Juilliard School in New York City, but yearned to experience life beyond music. Instead of attending a conservatory like many of his peers, he decided to enroll at Harvard University at age 16. Determined to experience college life, Ma limited his performances at Harvard and took courses in everything from anthropology to German literature. He graduated in 1976 with a liberal arts degree.
After graduating from Harvard, Ma was ready to shift his career into overdrive. But instead, it came to a halt when he was forced to undergo a risky back surgery for a severe case of scoliosis.
He wore a body cast for six months and was not allowed to play at all during his recovery. Despite the risks of his surgery, the operation ended up being a success. From then on, he was in high demand, sometimes booking concerts years in advance.
Experimentation and innovation have become the hallmarks of Yo-Yo Ma's career. His relentless pursuit of new challenges has brought classical music to a much larger audience than ever before. In fact, while he is a classical musician, he is known for his versatility and wide-ranging interests in different musical genres. He's delved into Baroque pieces, American bluegrass, as well as traditional Chinese music. While the results may be open to question, his passion is not.
Over his decades-long career, Ma has produced more than 75 albums.
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The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held in 1959, after Walk of Fame recording executives compiled a list of industry leaders who they realized would never get a star on Hollywood Boulevard, but deserved recognition. The group helped found the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, and named their award the "Grammy" as a nod to Edison's gramophone. Since then, hundreds of music industry members have received Grammys for their notable accomplishments in the field of music and recording. Here are the many winners of this now-prestigious award.
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