Yo-Yo Ma (b. 1955) is a world-renowned cellist and recipient of numerous awards including 17 Grammys, the Polar Music Prize, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Born in Paris but raised in the United States, Ma is a graduate of both Julliard and Harvard University. His repertoire includes classical, folk, traditional Chinese, bluegrass, and many other genres of music. He currently plays with the Silk Road Ensemble.
"My passion is actually for people. So the exploration into different musics of different times has to do with trying to figure out who these people are, what this music represents and what context do we want to give it and what does it mean to us right now."
Photo credit: "Yo-Yo Ma - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008" by World Economic Forum from Cologny, Switzerland - Yo-Yo Ma - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2008. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.