The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Superstar cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble turn 10 and will appear in Madison at the Overture Center on Sunday, Aug. 22

August 17, 2010

By Jacob Stockinger

Tomorrow — Sunday, Aug. 22 —  at 2:30 p.m. in Overture Hall, world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who has agreed to be a three-year stint as artistic advisor to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under its new maestro Riccardo Muti, will bring his Silk Road Ensemble (below) to the Overture Center for the Performing Arts in Madison.

The performance in Overture Hall marks the first time in four years that Ma has played in Madison. (But he has played numerous times here, especially at the Wisconsin Union Theater, where he also performed with his piano partner Emanuel Ax.)

Tickets for the appearance are $40. 50, $49.50, $75.50 and $85.50.

For information or tickets, call 608 258-4141 or go on line at:

Now, I appreciate the magnitude and appeal of the ethno-musicological Silk Road Ensemble. And were I available to go, I might even attend the concert.

But I have to be honest and say that I would much rather hear deeply talented  Ma in Bach suites or sonatas by Beethoven and Brahms, than the Asian ethnic music of the Silk Road Ensemble.

That music just has more meaning for me, no matter how often I hear it, even though demographics suggest that world-like music attracts bigger and younger audience. And crossing genres is the name of the game these days.

The group established and assembled by Ma and is marking its 10th anniversary with a tour on which Madison is a stop.

In anticipation of the Madison appearance, I found this terrific interview with Ma that was posted by the Cleveland Plain dealer.

And here is a review of as recent Silk Road concert:

I hope you find then informative and helpful.

And if you are still deciding whether to attend the concert, here is a catchy sample of the Silk Road Ensemble that may help you make up your mind:

And if you hear the Silk Road Ensemble in Madison — or have heard it elsewhere — I hope you will write a brief commentary-review of the experience.

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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