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by Daniel Hathaway

Ma-at-Oberlin-112013-(Mastroianni)Not only did international superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma sell out Finney Chapel for his appearance on the Oberlin Artist Recital Series Wednesday evening, he packed them into Warner Concert Hall as well, where an overflow crowd witnessed his masterful recital via simulcast.

Ma, who last appeared at Oberlin before its current students were born*, put together an unusual but engaging program that reflected some of his wide-ranging musical tastes. He also managed to serve up dessert before the main course — who doesn’t like that to happen once in a while — and only one item on his playlist was originally written for the cello. I heard the recital in Finney Chapel.

Saving two substantial works for the second half, Ma and his superb, longtime and apparently clairvoyant collaborator, pianist Kathryn Stott, launched the evening with delightful readings of Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, then a made-up suite of pieces by Villa-Lobos (Alma Brasileira), Piazzolla (Oblivion) and Camargo Guarnieri (Dansa Negra) arranged by Jorge Calandrelli (Villa-Lobos and Guarnieri) and Kyoko Yamamoto (Piazzolla), and finally, Manuel de Falla’s 7 Canciones Populares Españolas. Read the rest of this entry »


by Mike Telin

MA-Yo-YoI can’t say that I don’t lead an interesting life,” cellist, humanitarian and Silk Road Project founder Yo-Yo Ma says with a laugh. “It’s sometimes a little crazy and when that happens I just need to look at myself and say, I am the one responsible for it and I can’t blame anybody but myself.”

On Wednesday, November 20 beginning at 8:00 pm in Finney Chapel, the Oberlin College Artist Recital Series presents Yo-Yo Ma and his long time collaborator, pianist Kathryn Stott, in a concert featuring the music of Stravinsky, Villa Lobos, Piazzolla, Guarnieri, de Falla, Messiaen and Brahms. The concert is sold out.

Yo-Yo Ma is a person who enjoys building relationships and finding common ground with everyone he meets, and it their mutual love of travel that he attributes to the long collaborative relationship he has enjoyed with Kathryn Stott. Ma and Stott have been sharing stages since 1985 and together won Grammy Awards in 1999 and 2004.

Kathy loves adventures and we get along famously well. She is an incredible person and musician and she probably loves traveling or has traveled more then I have,” Ma says. Read the rest of this entry »

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