- 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
Best Known For
Yo-Yo Ma is an acclaimed cellist and songwriter who has produced dozens of albums and won more than 15 Grammy Awards.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Among his earlier albums are Great Cello Concertos (1989), Brahms: Sonatas for Cello & Piano (1992), Made in America (1993) and Soul of the Tango: The Music of Astor Piazzolla (1997). Later projects include Simply Baroque II — Bach & Boccherini (2000), Classic Yo-Yo (2001), Obrigado Brazil (2003) and The Goat Rodeo Sessions (2011).
Ma has collaborated with musical talents like Bobby McFerrin, Mark O'Connor, Edgar Meyer,
Stuart Duncan and the like. He has been a Sony recording artist for three decades, and is considered one of Billboard's best classical sellers.
A testament to his musical talent and creativity, Ma has won more than 15 Grammy Awards.
Ma plays a Venetian 17th century Montagnana cello and a Davidoff Stradivarius.
In 1998, Ma founded the Silk Road Project as a means to educate and study the culture and art that thrived on the Silk Road. The organization's vision, according to its website, is to "connect the world's neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences around the globe." Since founding the Silk Road Project, Ma has served as its artistic director.
In 2000, Ma was given the opportunity to expand his audience beyond his wildest dreams: Film director Ang Lee asked him to play on the sound track for the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which went on to become an astounding success, winning four Academy Awards in 2011—for best foreign-language film, art direction, cinematography and, most importantly for Ma, best original score.
But Ma has also found time to perform in front of the cameras on the small screen. He's appeared on the West Wing, Sesame Street, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and even on The Simpsons. More recently, he was on PBS' Faces of America with host Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., in which he learned about his ancestry.
Despite how some movies may represent it, classical music has also always been known as a source of solace during times of tragedy, and when the United States needed it most, Yo-Yo Ma delivered. A year after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the nation, Ma was asked to play at the ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the tragic event.
In 2001, Ma was awarded the National Medal of Arts. In 2011, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and is currently serving as a UN Messenger of Peace.
Today, Yo-Yo Ma is in demand as never before. His classical recitals and experimental performances sell out regularly, and his willingness to charge ahead into the unknown and take chances has opened a door for a new generation of musicians.
Ma has been married to longtime partner Jill Horner since 1978. The couple has a son and daughter. The Ma family lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Yo-Yo Ma profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Famous Libras 571 people in this group
Columbia University Alumni 119 people in this group
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.
Famous Grammy Winners 425 people in this group