Artist: Yo-Yo Ma

Birth Name: Yo-yo Ma
Date of Birth: Oct. 07, 1955
Discipline/Occupation(s): Cellist
Nationality: 🇫🇷 French-born 🇺🇸 American
Contribution(s): Ma was born in Paris and spent his schooling years in New York City and was a child prodigy, performing from the age of four and a half. He graduated from the Juilliard School and Harvard University and has enjoyed a prolific career as both a soloist performing with orchestras around the world and a recording artist. He has recorded more than 90 albums and received 18 Grammy Awards.

In addition to recordings of the standard classical repertoire, he has recorded a wide variety of folk music such as American bluegrass music, traditional Chinese melodies, the tangos of Argentinian composer Ástor Piazzolla, and Brazilian music. He has also collaborated with Grammy Award-winning jazz singer Bobby McFerrin, as well as five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist James Taylor. Ma’s primary performance instrument is a Montagnana cello crafted in 1733 and valued at US$2.5 million.

He has been a United Nations Messenger of Peace since 2006.

He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2001, Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, and Polar Music Prize in 2012.

Biography: Early life and education   |   Career   |   Silk Road Ensemble   |   Playing style   |   Instruments   |   Notable live performances   |   Media appearances   |   Name and genealogy   |   Personal life   |   Discography   |   In popular culture   |   Notable awards and recognitions


  • Saint-Saëns: The Swan w/Kathryn Stott, piano
  • Bach: Cello Suites (6), BWV 1007-1012)
  • Brahms: Piano Trio No. 2 in C Major – Movement II (excerpt)
  • Massenet: Meditation from ‘Thaïs’ (w/Kathryn Stott, piano)
  • Brahms: Lullaby, w/ Kathryn Stott, piano
  • Dvorák: Cello Concerto in B minor
  • Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
  • Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 107
  • Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33
  • Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, Hob. VIIb/1 & Concerto No. 2 in D Major for cello and orchestra, Hob. VIIb/2, Op. 101
  • John Williams: Cello Concerto – Fourth version (live 2012)
  • YouTube Playlist: Yo Yo Ma Greatest Hits


Bach Suites: 6 Evolutions
Brahms: The Piano Trios
Piazzolla: Soul of the Tango
Great Cello Concertos
Essential Yo-Yo Ma

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