Awarded: April 2000
(b. Oct. 7, 1955)
A world-renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma began studying the cello with his father at age four. As a performer, he maintains a balance between his engagements as a soloist with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber music. One of his personal goals is to demonstrate how music is a means of communication in both Western and non-Western cultures. To that end, he has immersed himself in music as diverse as native Chinese music and the music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa. In 1997, he received a Grammy Award as Artist of the Year.