Sunday, March 4, 2012
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble is back
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma will bring his Silk Road Ensemble to Seoul with a unique program that features traditional instruments from different corners of the world.
Since launching in 1998 under the auspices of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the Silk Road Project has leaped over geographical and cultural barriers to make and transport music. The troupe will return to Korea March 12 for a concert at Seoul Arts Center.
The Silk Road Project takes inspiration from the historical Silk Road trading routes, employing the Silk Road as a modern metaphor for sharing and learning across cultures, art forms and disciplines.
Over the years, composers have written many new pieces for the Silk Road Ensemble.
“The music we play does not belong to just one culture or even to only the Silk Road region,” Ma, the founder and artistic director of the nonprofit arts and educational organization, said in a statement. "We rely on the readiness of composers to write and arrange for our distinctive group. Perhaps because they support experimentation and innovation, our commissioning workshops have a remarkable record of producing successful works for our repertoire."
Featuring traditional instruments from different corners of the world, from Korea and China to Peru, the ensemble has fused Eastern and Western classical music with folk melodies, popular rhythms and other sounds into experimental harmony.
Russian, Mongolian, Argentinean and American composers have written original pieces for the Silk Road Project. During their upcoming concert, they will perform a piece called "Love Carved into a Stone" by Korean composer Kim Dae-seong, alongside a couple of world premieres of "Kasida" by Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky; and "Suite from Book of Angels" John Zorn.
The Silk Road Ensemble is a collective of musicians, composers and performing artists from more than 20 countries.
Many of the musicians first came together under the artistic direction of Ma at a workshop at Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts in 2000.
The Silk Road Ensemble has performed to critical acclaim throughout Asia, Europe and North America and has recorded five albums. The Ensemble’s most recent recording, "Off the Map," was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2011.
Ma serves as the artistic director of the Silk Road Project. He is also a creative consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a member of the President's Committee on the Arts & Humanities, and a recipient of the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom. The 15-time Grammy winner maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world, his recital and chamber music activities, and his recording projects.
Tickets cost from 30,000 to 170,000 won. Call (02) 580-1300.