In 2010, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma became the first Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant. Music Director Riccardo Muti and Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Association President Deborah F. Rutter announced a contract extension with Ma through June 2015.
Yo-Yo Ma’s position as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s first creative consultant stands as a cornerstone of Maestro Muti’s vision for the CSO: to deepen the Orchestra’s engagement w
ith the Chicago community, to nurture the legacy of the CSO while supporting a new generation of musicians, and to collaborate with visionary artists who will bring unparalleled musical experiences to the CSO’s audiences at home and around the world.
Since becoming the Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, Ma has served as an invaluable partner helping bring Muti’s vision to fruition through a number of activities that include participating in roundtable discussions on the future of arts education to supporting the launch of the Once Upon a Symphony series of music and storytelling programs geared to children ages 2-6 and their families.
Ma was the catalyst behind Citizen Musician, a movement that calls on all musicians (professional, young and amateur), music lovers, music teachers and institutions to use music to bridge gulfs between people, to create community and to inspire and transform lives. Since the program’s inception, the initiative has expanded from Chicago-area prisons, schools, hospitals, train stations, community centers and other public spaces to churches, medical centers and schools in New York City, to rehabilitation centers in Moscow and a children’s foster home/orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia, anda children’s rehabilitation center in Mexico City and schools in Guanajuato, Mexico. In his second term, Ma will focus on expanding the range and depth of Citizen Musician activities locally, nationally and internationally.
“I am very pleased that with the generous support of Judson and Joyce Green, my friend and fellow musician, Yo-Yo Ma, will continue as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, deepening the CSO’s ongoing work in the Chicago community and bringing music to those who might not otherwise experience its power,” said CSO music director Riccardo Muti. “It has been my desire as Music Director of this great orchestra to not only offer music making of the highest level to audiences worldwide, but also to cultivate and encourage a new generation of musicians and music lovers. I am happy that together with Yo-Yo Ma, with whom I have a musical friendship of more than 25 years, the CSO will continue to engage and influence culture and society in meaningful ways. Yo-Yo Ma is a tremendous partner in this shared effort to serve not only as citizens of the world but also as advocates and ambassadors in a manner that knows no boundaries.”
As a cellist, Yo-Yo Ma maintains a balance between his engagements as soloist with orchestras worldwide and his recital and chamber music activities. His discography includes over 75 albums, including more than 15 Grammy Award winners. In addition, Ma is the founder and artistic director of the Silk Road Project.