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Yo-Yo Ma Quotes (27 Quotes)


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  • After reaching 50, I began to wonder what the root of life is.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • Things can fall apart, or threaten to, for many reasons, and then there's got to be a leap of faith. Ultimately, when you're at the edge, you have to go forward or backward; if you go forward, you have to jump together.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • Music has always been transnational; people pick up whatever interests them, and certainly a lot of classical music has absorbed influences from all over the world.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • He made a score that in some ways is very spare, which fits with the period that is represented in the film, which is actually a unique period in Japanese history because it was a period of transition. Hence, you have all these instruments in transition as well.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • Our (nation's) cultural strength has always been derived from our diversity of understanding and experience.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)


  • I'm not likely to forget where I've been and what I've done and learned. I think it's just as important to play new instruments as to play new pieces. The old ones are getting scarcer and the new ones more and more wonderful.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • The tango is really a combination of many cultures, though it eventually became the national music of Argentina.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • We may be coming to a new golden age of instrument making.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • From the sight-reading abilities of the students who came to the reading sessions, 95 of whom were not music majors, to the great questions and comments we got from students in the classes, to the amazing enthusiasm and energy of the jam session, everywhere we went we could feel the intelligence and open-mindedness of Harvard undergraduates.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • He's just so much a master of the material, and that's also based on the deep knowledge of the jazz world, of the American musical theater. By having had such a wide and deep history in all these different musical genres he can pick and choose at any moment what needs to be and it's always organic, it's always him, because all of these worlds are a part of him.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • Early on he was thinking somehow in the recesses of his mind that 'Hey, maybe we should do that,' and I know he was interested in the possibility of setting the book to music.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • But an innovation, to grow organically from within, has to be based on an intact tradition, so our idea is to bring together musicians who represent all these traditions, in workshops, festivals, and concerts, to see how we can connect with each other in music.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • One of the most interesting aspects of the film project was collaborating with so many people - directors, filmmakers, and writers - over a five-year period. I learned that there are two components to this.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • The role of the musician is to go from concept to full execution. Put another way, it's to go from understanding the content of something to really learning how to communicate it and make sure it's well-received and lives in somebody else.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)

  • Many of the Central Asians know Russian, and Ted Levin speaks it fluently. I speak Chinese, but Mongolian is completely different, so we had to have translators.
    (Yo-Yo Ma)


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