Yo-Yo Ma

12 months ago


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and moved with his family to New York, where he continued his musical studies and greatly excelled. He sought out a liberal arts education to expand upon his conservatory training, graduating from Harvard College in 1976. In 1998, Ma founded Silkroad, an organization that seeks to create meaningful change at the intersections of the arts, education and business. Ma serves as a UN Messenger of Peace, a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and a member of the Emerson Collective. He and his wife, Jill Hornor, have two children.


  • Yo-Yo Ma plays two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.
  • He has recorded over one hundred albums and won eighteen Grammy Awards.
  • Among his honors are the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the Léonie Sonning Music Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum's Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), the Polar Music Prize (2012) and the Vilcek Prize for Contemporary Music (2013).


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