Yo-Yo Ma comes to Tucson - Tucson Local Media: El Sol

Yo-Yo Ma comes to Tucson

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Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:00 am

Special to The Explorer

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma is coming to Tucson to perform for the first time with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

The "most revered classical musician of our time" performs Dvořák's Cello Concerto, the most beloved work for cello and orchestra, one night only, Saturday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall. George Hanson, TSO music director and conductor, will conduct the program, which opens with Beethoven's Symphony No. 5.

"We've been working several years to schedule Yo-Yo Ma," Hanson said. "Mr. Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras throughout the world and his recital and chamber music activities. We wanted to have him perform with the entire TSO, not just in recital, and the Dvořák concerto is the perfect showcase for what promises to be an extraordinary evening in the cultural history of Tucson."

Renewing TSO subscribers were given first chance to purchase tickets to the performance by Yo-Yo Ma. After the performance sold out, seats were added to accommodate as many subscribers as possible who were on a waiting list.

Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and soon came with his family to New York, where he spent most of his formative years. Later, his principal teacher was Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. He graduated from Harvard University in 1976.

He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999) and the National Medal of the Arts (2001). In January 2009, at President Obama's invitation, Mr. Ma played in the quartet performance of John Williams' Air and Simple Gifts at the 56th Inaugural Ceremony. Most recently, Ma was appointed to the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Ma is an exclusive Sony Classical artist, and his discography of more than 75 albums (including more than 15 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. He has made several successful recordings that defy categorization with Bobby McFerrin, Mark O'Connor and Edgar Meyer and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil. Ma's most recent recordings include "Songs of Joy and Peace;" "Paris: La Belle Époque," with pianist Kathryn Stott; and "New Impossibilities," a live album recorded with the Silk Road Ensemble and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ma remains one of the best-selling recording artists in the classical field.

The appearance of world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma with the TSO is made possible with generous funding support from Norma Zimdahl.

TSO flutistin a debut Dec. 3-4, 6

Alexander Lipay, now in his fourth season as TSO principal flute, will make his solo debut on the Classic Series program, Brahms and Flute Fantasy.

Lipay performs the Vivaldi Flute Concerto, "The Goldfinch," and an adaptation of Bizet's Carmen Fantasy, arranged by Francois Borne.

Markus Huber, known to TSO patrons for conducting The Lord of the Rings Symphony in 2007, returns to guest conduct the program, which will open and close with the music of his fellow countrymen: the overture to Carl Maria Von Weber's Oberon and Johannes Brahms' Symphony No. 2.

Performances are Thursday and Friday, Dec. 3-4, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave.

Tickets, $20 to $72, are available online at http://www.tucsonsymphony.org">www.tucsonsymphony.org, at the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at (520) 882-8585. TSO Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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