“There is hardly any virtuoso of any instrument who is as complete, profound, passionate, and humane a musician as Ma” (Boston Globe). Perhaps the only household name in classical music, cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform in recital with longtime collaborator, pianist Kathyrn Stott, at Zellerbach Hall on Thursday, Jan 24 at 7:00 p.m. Stott, “an excellent soul mate for Ma” (New York Times), has performed with him for decades, both in recital and on recordings. This program is a testament to their exploration of wp music, regardless of instrument or tradition. In true form with Ma’s previous appearances at Berkeley, this performance is sold-out.
The night starts off with Igor Stravinsky’s Suite Italienne, which is based on several movements of his 1919 ballet, Pulcinella. They will next perform three pieces inspired by South America: Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Alma Brasileira (arr. Jorge Calandrelli), Astor Piazzolla’s Oblivion (arr. by Kyoko Yamamoto) and Camargo Guarnieri’s Dansa Negra (arr. Calandrelli). The program’s repertoire moves back to Europe with the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla’s 7 Conciones Populares Españolas G. 40. Olivier Messiaen’s Louange à l’Éternité de Jésus, taken from the fifth movement of his Quatuor pour la fin du temps, follows. The concert will finish with Johannes Brahms’ Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108 for violin. Only the Stravinsky and Messiaen pieces were originally written for the cello, the rest of the works have either been adapted or arranged for Ma and Stott.
Stott first met Ma in 1978 when she “discovered a Chinese man in his underpants playing the cello” in her apartment after Ma had rented it without realizing it was shared. They have worked together ever since and have made several recordings, including the Grammy-winning Soul of Tango (Sony).
British pianist Kathryn Stott performs as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician. She started playing the piano at the age of five and later studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and then the Royal College of Music with Kendall Taylor. Stott first gained prominence by winning the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1978. She is known for her wide taste in music and has performed and recorded in English, French, contemporary and Latin genres. Stott has served as Artistic Director for several music festivals, including the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society (2008), and Guest Artistic Director of the chamber festival Incontri in Terra di Siena (2010, 2011). She received a prestigious Order of Arts and Letter by the French government for her successful direction of a music festival that celebrated the anniversary of Gabriel Fauré. In addition to Ma, Stott has long-term collaborations with Truls Mørk, Christian Poltera, Natalie Clein and Janine Jansen. More information can be found at kathrynstott.com.
Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris in 1955 to Chinese parents and began studying the cello with his father at 4. One year later his family moved to New York so he could study at the Juilliard School with Leonard Rose. Ma graduated from Harvard University in 1976. He is known for maintaining a balance between his engagements as a recitalist, leading small ensembles, performing with premier orchestras and a prodigious recording output. Ma created the Silk Road Project in 1998 to promote the study of cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient Silk Road trade route. More than 60 works have been commissioned for the Silk Road Ensemble, which tours annually, including a recent performance presented by Cal Performances in 2011.
Ma has received numerous awards including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), Glenn Gould Prize (1999), National Medal of the Arts (2001), World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), the Kennedy Center Honors (2011). He also serves as a UN Messenger of Peace. Ma is an exclusive Sony Classical artist and has released over 80 albums, and has won 16 Grammy Awards in six different categories. His records often cross genres and he has collaborated with other music giants like Emanuel Ax, Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Redman. His most recent album “The Goat Rodeo Session”, released in 2011, was made with Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile and Stuart Duncan. This is the second performance of the Ma/Stott duo at Cal Performances, the first of which was in 2007. Ma currently plays on two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello and a 1712 “Davidoff” Stradivarius. More information can be found at yo-yoma.com.
This performance is sold out. Tickets for Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott in recital on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Zellerbach Hall range from $30.00—$175.00 and may become available due to last-minute returns. Tickets may be available through the Ticket Office at Zellerbach Hall; at (510) 642-9988; at www.calperformances.org; and at the door. Half-price tickets are available for UC Berkeley students. UC faculty and staff, senior citizens, other students and UC Alumni Association members receive a $5.00 discount (Special Events excluded). For select performances, Cal Performances offers UCB student, faculty and staff, senior, and community rush tickets. For more information about discounts, go to http://calperformances.org/buy/discounts.php or call (510) 642-9988.