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The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma

About this Artist

The SILK ROAD PROJECT is a nonprofit arts and educational organization with a vision of connecting the world’s neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences around the globe. Founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998 as a catalyst to promote innovation and learning through the arts, the Silk Road Project takes inspiration from the historic Silk Road trading routes as a modern metaphor for multicultural and interdisciplinary exchange.

Under the artistic direction of Ma and the leadership of CEO and Executive Director Laura Freid, the Silk Road Project presents performances by the acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble, engages in cross-cultural exchanges and residencies, leads workshops for students, and partners with leading cultural institutions to create educational materials and programs. Developing new music is a central undertaking of the Silk Road Project, which has been involved in commissioning and performing more than 60 new musical and multimedia works from composers and arrangers around the world.

Hyosung Corporation

Lead Corporate Sponsor of the Silk Road Project

MetLife Foundation

Official 2011 Tour Sponsor of the Silk Road Project

The SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE is a collective of internationally renowned performers and composers from more than 20 countries. Each Ensemble member’s career responds to one of the preeminent artistic challenges of our times: to maintain the integrity of art rooted in authentic traditions while nourishing global connections.

Many of the musicians first came together under the artistic direction of Yo-Yo Ma at a workshop at Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts in 2000. Since then, in various configurations, Ensemble artists have collaborated on a diverse range of musical and multimedia projects, presenting innovative performances that spring from Eastern and Western traditions and contemporary musical crossroads.

The Silk Road Ensemble has performed to critical acclaim throughout Asia, Europe, and North America and has recorded five albums. The Ensemble’s most recent recording, Off the Map (2009 In a Circle Records; 2009 World Village), was nominated for a Grammy award. It explores uncharted territory with globe-spanning music commissioned from Osvaldo Golijov, Gabriela Lena Frank, Evan Ziporyn, and Angel Lam.

For more information on the Silk Road Project and the Silk Road Ensemble, please visit

Whether performing a new concerto, revisiting a familiar work from the cello repertoire, coming together with colleagues for chamber music, reaching out to young audiences and student musicians, or exploring cultures and musical forms outside the Western classical tradition, cellist YO-YO MA seeks connections that stimulate the imagination.

Yo-Yo Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world, his recital and chamber music activities, and his recording projects. In each he works to expand the cello repertoire through both performances of lesser-known 20th-century music and the commissioning of new works. Ma has made over 70 albums, including over 15 Grammy winners, reflecting his wide-ranging interests. Besides the standard concerto repertoire, he has recorded many of the works he has commissioned or premiered and has made several successful crossover discs.

Yo-Yo Ma serves as the artistic director of the Silk Road Project. He is also a creative consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, and a recipient of the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom.