||Yo-Yo Ma (1955-) |
"Fame and success are always being dangled before you. You can easily become a slave to your desire, become an addict. But you have to choose your drug carefully."
When it comes to music perhaps no other Chinese musician fully embodies the respect and admiration among fans than Yo-Yo Ma. This celebrated musician has been dubbed by many as THE WORLDS FINEST CELLIST. Over the years Yo-Yo Ma has won eight Grammy's and has performed throughout the world with the finest artists and orchestras in contemporary times. As a fine Cellist, and accomplished musician, Yo-Yo Ma's career continues to dazzle audiences.
The Untamed Yo-Yo
Yo-Yo Ma was born on October 7, 1955, in Paris. His father, Hia-tsiun, was a professor of English at a Local University. His mother, an aspiring musician, also went to school. Yo-yo's parents left China during hostile times, and eventually settled in Paris where they lived and studied music. At an early age, Yo-Yo studied the violin, piano, and the Cello. Yo-Yo was the kind of kid that never really wanted to work hard. He often divided his work into segments of four-a principal he would often come to use. Basically he worked progressively in these sections whenever it came to memorizing music. He astonished his Cello teacher when he performed a piece by Bach completely from memory.
Later in youth, the Ma family moved to America, where Yo-Yo studied music under Leonard Rose. At home, Yo-Yo Ma tended to be courteous and obedient to his parents, however, school remained a place of rebellion. His teacher's concluded that his rambunctious behavior was a result of his being under-challenged in school. They quickly transferred Yo-Yo into an accelerated academic program, and at the age of 15, graduated high school. His never found freedom at such an early age only fueled his passion for music. Soon however, Yo-Yo would enroll in Columbia University to continue his studies. He later dropped out against his parents wishes.
The Music Years
Following his years after High School and during much of college, Yo-Yo Ma performed many recitals. He realized he could make a good living by playing music, and at one point thought of dropping out of Harvard. However, his parents remained adamant that he continue his education until its proper completion.
Throughout his life he worked with such people as Leon Kirchner, a man who taught him to experience music from the composer's point of view. His foist orchestral debut took place in London with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Throughout the 1970's, Yo-Yo saw Jill Horner. She was a student at the time they met, and they were later married in 1977. Together they have two children named Nicholas and Emily.
Yo-Yo ma has always deeply felt music should not only entertain a listener, but also reach their hearts with the message of the musical piece. For this reason, Yo-Yo considers himself a medium through which the composer translates an idea. Yo-Yo finds his musical career fulfilling, and considers himself lucky to be living out his destiny. However, there were moments in his life when uncertainty and unhappiness bogged down his attitude. At times he often wondered if his life would be less complicated had he chosen a less vigorous musical career. In 1980, a slight curvature in the back called Scoliosis threatened to prevent Yo-Yo from continuing his artistic ambitions. Yo-Yo decided to have the operation, which was a success, and learned that no matter how hard life can be, one must always cherish the things they enjoy most. From that point on, he made the decision to always make the best of times.
He learned that you don't have to play a perfect piece of music. In fact, playing the correct note all the time may even bore the audience. Instead Yo-Yo has adopted a policy that says he won't let his time and energy run out for his fans or his family. He just tries to be himself, to make every concert special for himself and the audience. He loves to spend time with his family, and reserves the month of July exclusively for them.
Yo-Yo Ma today is considered the worlds best Cellist by many. His music has captured the hearts of the people, who consider his work both moving and inspirational. He has played with the best composers and orchestras the world has to offer, and his reputation as fine artist with a down to earth personality has won him the admiration of today's young music students.