World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma graces the stage of North Central College’s acoustically stunning Wentz Concert Hall Oct. 1 for a rare solo performance.
The acclaimed classical music envoy will perform selected works by Bach. Ma earned the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance in 1985 for “Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suites.” His interpretations of Bach were the subject of a six-part film series, “The Cello Suites Inspired by Bach,” and in 1998 Ma released a second audio recording of Bach works based on the soundtrack of the film series.
Ma’s performance begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, in the College’s Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $150 and $125; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix.
Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, Yo-Yo Ma strives to find connections that stimulate the imagination. His multi-faceted career is a testament to his continual search for new ways to communicate with audiences through music, along with his personal desire for artistic growth and renewal. Ma immerses himself in everything from the distinct instruments of native Chinese harmonies to the music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa.
Expanding upon his interests in global connectivity, Ma established the Silk Road Project in 1998 to promote the study of the cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient trade route stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. By examining the flow of ideas throughout the area, the project seeks to illuminate the heritages of the Silk Road countries and identify the voices that represent these traditions today.
In 2009, Ma was appointed as the Chicago Symphony’s first creative consultant, and serves as a partner to CSO music director Riccardo Muti in providing collaborative musical leadership and guidance on innovative program development for The Institute for Learning and Access and Training at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ma focuses on transforming the lives of individuals by providing access to music and opportunities in their communities.
In February 2011 President Obama awarded Ma a Medal of Freedom—the nation’s highest civilian honor—noting the cellist had performed at the White House for President Kennedy at age 7 and that his “talents know no boundaries of genre or culture.”
Ma’s vast discography exceeds 75 albums and more than 15 Grammy Award winners. Reflecting his wide range of interests, Ma has made several successful recordings that defy categorization, including “Hush” with Bobby McFerrin, “Appalachia Waltz” with Mark O’Connor and Edgar Meyer and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil, “Obrigado Brazil” and “Obrigado Brazil—Live in Concert.” Visit yo-yoma.com to learn more.
North Central College’s 2011-2012 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season is supported by a generous grant from the Illinois Arts Council. USG Corporation and Navistar, Inc. are underwriting sponsors. This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit northcentralcollege.edu/show or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).