Yo-Yo Ma named CSO consultant

Tue Dec 15, 2009 at 12:05 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma has been appointed creative consultant to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, tasked with carrying out outreach and community activities broadly outlined by music director designate Riccardo Muti.

In his appointment to the newly created position of Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, the celebrated Chinese-American cellist will “provide collaborative musical leadership and guidance on innovative program development for The Institute for Learning, Access and Training at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as for CSO artistic initiatives,” stated the CSO in a press release.

“I have had the great pleasure and privilege of working with Maestro Muti on many occasions over the past 25 years,” said Ma. “I am impressed and inspired by his passion, intellect and vitality. Along with his first love, music, Maestro Muti cares deeply about so many important issues of our day—our planet, our children and those less fortunate.”

Both men share a strongly humanistic view of music’s potential. Muti has said that as part of his CSO tenure he wants to bring music to incarcerated and at-risk youth. Ma has long advocated many humanitarian causes and brought musicians together around the world through his Silk Road Project.

Among Ma’s responsibilities will be developing a concert series for children ages 3-5; workshops for high school and college-aged musicians entitled Creating a Life With Music; and, in partnership with Muti, programming for incarcerated and at-risk youth. He will also lead Symphony Center Presents chamber music residencies with an emphasis on innovative thematic programming and engaging young musicians of college and pre-college age.

Ma will take up his position in January 2010, eight months before Muti officially comes aboard as music director in September. Ma’s term as creative consultant will run three years.

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