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19th March 2020
Yo-Yo Ma (born October 7, 1955) is a French and American cellist. Born in Paris to Chinese parents, he spent his schooling years in New York City and was a child prodigy, performing from the age of five. He graduated from Juilliard School and Harvard University and has enjoyed a prolific career as both a soloist performing with orchestras around the world and a recording artist. His 75 albums have received fifteen Grammy Awards.In addition to recordings of the standard classical repertoire, he has recorded a wide variety of folk music such as American bluegrass music, traditional Chinese melodies, the tangos of Argentinian composer Ástor Piazzolla and Brazilian music and collaborated with Grammy Award-winning jazz/reggae singer Bobby McFerrin. During their controversial tour of 2005-6, Ma backed them playing cello as sideman for the Dixie Chicks, assisting in the string arrangements for the band.Ma’s primary performance instrument is a Montagnana cello built in 1733 valued at US$2.5 million.He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2001, Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, and the Polar Music Prize in 2012.