He's recorded dozens of albums, performed with the world's leading orchestras, written and performed film scores, and won a zillion Grammys. And he plays the cello. THE CELLO. Uploaded by mlive.com.
He’s a virtuoso on the cello. The cello. As if the violin isn’t geeky enough. But the thing is, Yo-Yo Ma somehow makes it cool. He brings out the beauty in an instrument that had always been second fiddle. Second fiddle – somebody stop me!
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When his friends see him, do they say, “Yo, Yo!” And does he say, “Don’t use my middle name.” Okay, I think I’m finished being silly. Probably. Ma was born in Paris to Chinese parents who moved to New York and taught him German music. He was the epitome of the concept of child prodigy. As Mark Salzman wrote on the liner notes for Classic Yo-Yo: “At four, he learned his first Bach cello suite; at five, he gave his first concert in Paris; at six, he dazzled Isaac Stern; and at seven, he played in a televised concert hosted by Leonard Bernstein and attended by President and Mrs. Kennedy.”
Yo-Yo Ma has performed all over the world with the leading orchestras and musicians. He’s recorded dozens of albums, and shown how the cello adapts to a wide array of musical forms. And he’s a virtual Grammy machine, having won 16, mostly for Best Chamber Music Performance and Best Instrumental Soloist Performance. And this year (2011), he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Yo!
Think you've got what it takes in music, drama, or dance to get into Juilliard? Good luck -- the school enrolls about eight percent of its applicants. Uploaded by wikimedia.org.
If you aspire to a professional career in drama, dance, or music, you can hardly have a better school on your resume than Juilliard.
About 800 students are enrolled at Juilliard’s Lincoln Center “campus,” and that sounds like a good number. But consider that a couple of years ago, the school received 2,138 applications for admission and enrolled 162 people. Only the most promising talents get to train at Juilliard.
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Even though there are three disciplines training at Juilliard, the school still tilts strongly toward music education. Of the 800 students noted above, only about 90 are in dance, and 90 in drama. The rest of the students are studying under the distinguished music faculty the school always attracts.
One way to look at any school is to look at its graduates. I admit up front that I’m more familiar with the drama and music graduates than dance. With that caveat, here are some of Juilliard’s distinguished alumni:
Christine Baranski • Andre Braugher • Marcia Cross • Kelsey Grammer • William Hurt • Val Kilmer • Kevin Kline • Laura Linney • Patti LuPone • Kelly McGillis • Elizabeth McGovern • Bebe Neuwirth • Mandy Patinkin • Kevin Spacey • David Ogden Stiers • Bradley Whitford • Robin Williams
Van Cliburn • Bill Conti • Chick Corea • Miles Davis • Renee Fleming • Philip Glass • Marvin Hamlisch • Bernard Herrmann • Yo Yo Ma • Henry Mancini • Barry Manilow • Wyton Marsalis • Itzhak Perlman • Leontyne Price • Tito Puente • John Williams • Meredith Willson