Hailed as “one of the 21st century’s great ensembles,” the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma draws upon the rich tapestry of traditions from an array of global cultures for a high-energy, virtuosic, and unforgettable performance.
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Since 2000, the Silk Road Ensemble has been redefining classical music for 21st-century audiences. The group has been called “vibrant and virtuosic” by the Wall Street Journal, “one of the 21st century’s great ensembles” by the Vancouver Sun, and a “roving musical laboratory without walls” by the Boston Globe. Passionate about learning from one another’s traditions, these rooted explorers perform on instruments ranging from world percussion to Western strings to the Chinese pipa (lute) and sheng (mouth organ), the Japanese shakuhachi (bamboo flute), the Galician gaita (bagpipe), Indian tabla (paired drums), and Persian kamancheh (spike fiddle), among others.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma established the nonprofit organization Silkroad in 1998 and the Silk Road Ensemble in 2000 to explore the role of the arts in fostering cross-cultural understanding, deepening learning, and promoting innovation. Under the artistic direction of Mr. Ma, these storytelling musicians celebrate the multiplicity of approaches to music from around the world. They also develop new repertoire that responds to the new realities of our global society. In engaging, high-energy performances, the Silk Road Ensemble draws on a rich tapestry of traditions that make up our shared cultural heritage, creating a new musical language—a uniquely engaging and accessible encounter between the foreign and the familiar that reflects our many-layered contemporary identities.