Kicking off 2019 with the announcement of new locations for his globe-spanning Bach Project, YO-YO MA has premiered a music video that explores the enduring resonance of Bach through user-generated footage. The new video integrates Ma's performance of the Prélude from Cello Suite No. 1 with footage contributed in response to the prompt "Show the world how you express yourself and what brings your community together." It is another step towards answering the question posed by the Bach Project: how does culture connect us, and help us to imagine and build a better future?
The new video marks the start of the next chapter of Ma's two-year-long Bach Project , which brings his performance of Bach's suites for solo cello to 36 places around the world, locations that provide a window on our cultural heritage, our current creativity, and the issues of peace and understanding shaping our future. Alongside each concert, Ma and his team partner with artists and culture makers, cultural and community organizations, and leaders from across sectors to design Days of Action " conversations, collaborations and performances that ask how culture can help us to imagine and build a better future. At the heart of the undertaking is Ma's unwavering faith in culture"expressed viscerally for him in Bach's music"as a powerful uniting force during divisive and difficult times.
Yo-Yo Ma's Bach Project continues into 2019 with newly announced dates, high praise, and a critically acclaimed recording. Ma's upcoming concerts will span three continents, with engagements announced in Mumbai, San Antonio, Chicago, Vienna, Tanglewood, Sydney, Melbourne, and Christchurch. All performances will be accompanied by Days of Action, a series of events ranging from town hall discussions with local leaders to large-scale non-profit showcases and art projects to collaborative performances, which emphasise local talent.
The journey began with the release of Ma's newest recording, Six Evolutions - Bach: Cello Suites (Sony Classical), on August 17, 2018 which subsequently spent 12 weeks atop the Billboard Classical Traditional chart and 3 weeks atop the Classical Total chart. The album has been streamed more than 22 million times worldwide, and has met with great acclaim from the likes of The New York Time s, NPR , and Time. Gramophone's Rob Cowan notes, "I don't think he has ever made a greater recording." SIX EVOLUTIONS continues to garner positive press, and appeared in 2018 year-end lists from The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, ClassicFM, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Times UK, The Washington Post, and WQXR.