Recent News
12.12.18
Keith Lockhart
KEITH LOCKHART JOINS THE ROSTER
12.10.18
Vienna Boys Choir
Classical Album of the Week: Vienna Boys Choir Sings Strauss
WRTI
12.07.18
JoAnn Falletta, Mariss Jansons, David Alan Miller, Peter Oundjian, Patrick Summers, Alexandre Tharaud, Magos Herrera & Brooklyn Rider , Mason Bates, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Munich , Academy of St Martin in the Fields , Les Violons du Roy , Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nathan Gunn
2019 Grammy Nominees
Grammy Awards
12.07.18
New York Philharmonic String Quartet , Yefim Bronfman
Bronfman, NY Philharmonic Quartet impress at Linton Series
Cincinnati Business Courier
12.06.18
Aaron Diehl
Pianist Diehl in jazz trio plays varied concert in Palm Beach
Palm Beach Daily News
12.06.18
Julian Wachner
This Is the Best ‘Messiah’ in New York
The New York Times
12.04.18
Sir Andrew Davis
ELGAR The Music Makers. The Spirit of England (Davis)
Gramophone
12.03.18
Chanticleer
Chanticleer Christmas concert, 11/30/18
Divamensch
12.01.18
Ward Stare
Twin pianists deliver impeccable style in ‘Perfect Pairs’ concert
Sarasota Herald Tribune
11.27.18
Richard Kaufman
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA HAUNTS THE SOROYA IN REAL TIME
Broadway World

News archive »

Eclectic musical evening excels

08.20.10
Yo-Yo Ma, Silkroad Ensemble
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Yo-Yo Ma's global group melds past, present perfectly

Imagine a hybrid plant thriving on ancient, mixed roots while producing vibrant, fresh leaves and flowers. That image is the visual equivalent of Thursday evening concert by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble.

Playing to a packed Pabst Theater, the ensemble of extraordinary musicians gave a thrilling, compelling performance of the music that is its stock in trade - pieces composed in the past decade that are built upon ancient sounds and melodies.

At first glance, the group doesn't make a lot of sense. It's difficult to imagine just what sort of music requires Galician bagpipes, ancient Chinese and Japanese wind instruments, a raft of percussion instruments, and string instruments from the world of classical music.

The music is as eclectic as the collection of instruments on the stage. Cristina Pato's "Caronte" opens with the haunting sound of the Galician pipes, bending pitches in over a drone of low strings. The piece unfolds into something of a high-energy jam session, with Pato on the pipes and Kojiro Umezaki on the shakuhachi (a traditional Japanese flute) trading licks in front of the band.

A piece titled "Wine Madness" found Wu Tong creating an absolutely gorgeous, lyrical sound on a sheng, a Chinese free-reed instrument.

The evening unfolded with Sandeep Das' "Shristi," a delightful, percolating piece for four percussionists playing instruments from different corners of the world, and a gripping arrangement of the Chinese piece "Ambush from Four Sides" and other equally fascinating pieces.

Built on the unexpected, the program included a lengthy, complex percussion riff by Joseph Gramley that found him abandoning instruments, sticks and mallets in favor of foot taps, body slaps and finger snaps. Yang Wei brought the fire of flamenco guitar to the ancient Chinese pipa and Das made the tabla wail.

Ma and the musicians, an ensemble of 15, played with technical discipline, improvisatory freedom and rambunctious musical expression to create an unforgettable evening that wedded past and present with disparate-yet-related cultures into something both global and tremendously fun.

The ensemble answered a standing ovation with two encores.