The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma Embarks on Seven-City Concert Tour in Asia March 3 – 12, 2012

Yo-Yo Ma, Kayhan Kalhor, Silkroad Ensemble
Silk Road Ensemble

Concerts scheduled in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Xi’an, and Beijing, China, and Seoul, South Korea

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma will travel to China and South Korea in March for a seven-city concert tour, its first in Asia since 2010. Mr. Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble, hailed by the Times (U.K.) as “quite unique in the musical world,” will return to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Seoul and will give debut performances in Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Xi’an. (A complete tour schedule follows below. )

“My friends at the Silk Road Project and I are delighted to return to Asia in March,” said Yo-Yo Ma, founder and artistic director of the Silk Road Project and member of the Silk Road Ensemble. “This tour includes cities we have come to know well, such as Hong Kong, the place of my mother's birth; Beijing, Ensemble member Wu Tong's home; Shanghai, where my father studied; and Seoul, home to Ensemble members Dong-Won Kim and You-Young Kim. The tour also includes cities we are visiting for the first time as an Ensemble: Ensemble member Wu Man's hometown of Hangzhou; Guangzhou, where I have such fond memories of working with our dear colleague Yu Long; and Xi'an, home to beloved composer Zhao Jiping. We will play his piece 'Moon Over Guan Mountains,' one of the first pieces ever written for the Ensemble, on this tour. All of these cities have deep roots in the kind of artistic exchange that happened along the Silk Road. At a time when so much attention is paid to this region politically and economically, I think it is equally important to understand the unique and vibrant cultures of these places.”

Music performed will include traditional Chinese and Korean pieces, as well as compositions by Persian kamancheh virtuoso Kayhan Kalhor, world percussion by Indian tabla master Sandeep Das, and other works inspired by the intersections of many cultural traditions from around the globe. Renowned proponents of Chinese traditional instruments will also be featured: Wu Man, known for her pivotal role in introducing the pipa to the West, and Wu Tong, sheng player and founding vocalist of the rock band Lunhui.

Tour Schedule
Saturday, March 3 | Hong Kong – Hong Kong City Hall, Concert Hall
Sunday, March 4 | Guangzhou – Guangzhou Opera House
Tuesday, March 6 | Hangzhou – Hangzhou Grand Theater
Wednesday, March 7 | Shanghai – Grand Theatre
Friday, March 9 | Xi’an – Xi’an Concert Hall
Saturday, March 10 | Beijing – National Centre for the Performing Arts
Sunday, March 12 | Seoul – Seoul Arts Center

In addition to these concerts, the tour will also include workshops for students led by Mr. Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble musicians in Beijing and Seoul that have been sponsored by the Silk Road Project’s corporate partners, Hyosung Corp. and Rolex.

Hyosung Corp. is Lead Sponsor of the Silk Road Project 2011-2014. Rolex is the Exclusive Partner of the Silk Road Project 2011-2012.

Laura Freid, CEO and executive director of the Silk Road Project stated, “While the scope of our explorations has grown to include music from around the world, we remain deeply connected to the historical Silk Road, so it is always a special pleasure to return to Asia and share what we have learned in our travels. At the Silk Road Project, partnerships are central to our mission, and we are especially grateful to have partners like our friends at Rolex, who share our commitment to artistic excellence and cross-cultural understanding.”

For more on future programs visit

Silk Road Ensemble members on this tour
Jeffrey Beecher, contrabass
Nicholas Cords, viola
Sandeep Das, tabla
Jonathan Gandelsman, violin
Joseph Gramley, percussion
Colin Jacobsen, violin
Eric Jacobsen, cello
Kayhan Kalhor, kamancheh
Dong-Won Kim, jang-go and vocals
You-Young Kim, viola
Liu Lin, guitar
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Cristina Pato, gaita
Shane Shanahan, percussion
Mark Suter, percussion
Kojiro Umezaki, shakuhachi
Wu Man, pipa
Wu Tong, sheng