One of the most beloved musicians of our day and a dear friend of La Jolla Music Society, Yo-Yo Ma brings his unparalleled virtuosity, passion, and thoughtfulness to our season. Collaborating with acclaimed pianist Kathryn Stott, he will make this evening one to remember.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. With partners from around the world and across disciplines, he creates programs that stretch the boundaries of genre and tradition to explore music-making as a means not only to share and express meaning, but also as a model for the cultural collaboration he considers essential to a strong society. Yo-Yo Ma is joined by longtime collaborator Kathryn Stott. Internationally recognized as one of Britain’s most versatile and imaginative pianists, the Washington Post wrote of Stott “[she is] every bit Ma’s equal, playing with striking individuality.” Together they have toured the globe and released multiple albums including 2020’s Songs of Comfort and Hope in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, cellist Yo-Yo Ma strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity.
Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris, where he began studying the cello with his father at age four. When he was seven, he moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies at The Juilliard School before pursuing a liberal arts education at Harvard.
Yo-Yo has recorded more than 100 albums, is the winner of 19 GRAMMY Awards, and has performed for nine American presidents, most recently on the occasion of President Biden’s inauguration. He has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of the Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Kennedy Center Honors. He has been a UN Messenger of Peace since 2006, and was recognized as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
Yo-Yo’s latest album is “Beethoven for Three: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 5,” recorded with pianist Emanual Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos.
At the age of five, Kathryn Stott made friends with the upright piano in her family’s living room, and by the age of eight, she found herself at a boarding school for young musicians, the Yehudi Menuhin School. During her studies there she was heavily influenced by two occasional visitors to the school: Nadia Boulanger and Vlado Perlmuter. From them, her great passion for French music was ignited and Fauré in particular has remained the musical love of her life.
Further studies at the Royal College of Music in London then led her very abruptly into the life of a professional musician via the Leeds International Piano Competition. When, quite by chance, she met Yo-Yo Ma in 1978, it turned out to be one of the most fortuitous moments of her life. Since 1985, they have enjoyed a collaboration which has taken them to many fascinating parts of the world and led to musical adventures with musicians who shared so much from their own traditions.
Presently, Stott enjoys the challenge of creativity in a different way by bringing many musicians together once a year in her role as Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Working with young musicians is something she feels passionate about, and she presently teaches at the Academy of Music in Oslo. She has also had some truly exciting music written for her and enjoyed a particularly close collaboration with composer Graham Fitkin.
Military and Student discounts available! Call the Box Office at 858-459-3728 to learn more.
Song without Words in D Major, Opus 109
Scarborough Fair (arr. Stephen Hough)
Shenandoah (arr. Caroline Shaw)
Was It a Dream? Opus 37, No. 4
From Jewish Life
Four Romantic Pieces, Opus 75
Cristal (arr. Jorge Calandrelli)
Gracias a la vida (arr. Jorge Calandrelli)
Libertango (arr. Kathryn Stott)
Le Grand Tango