36 concerts. 6 continents.
36 days of action.
Exploring how culture connects us.
In August 2018, Yo-Yo Ma began a two-year journey to perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello in 36 locations around the world, music that is among the first Yo-Yo ever learned when he began playing the cello at age four. The project is motivated not only by his six-decade relationship with the music, but also by Bach’s ability to speak to our shared humanity at a time when our civic conversation is so often focused on division.
For Yo-Yo, Bach’s 300-hundred-year-old music is one extraordinary example of how culture connects us and can help us to imagine and build a better future, but he believes there are many, many more. And for Yo-Yo, culture includes not just the arts, but everything that helps us to understand our environment, each other, and ourselves, from music and literature to science and food. The Bach Project explores and celebrates all the ways that culture makes us stronger as individuals, as communities, as a society, and as a planet.
“…the suites carry a larger message about how people connect, not just to art but also to one another. And enabling that communion has become Ma’s mission at this point in his career. He’s learned the importance of bringing people together, and not always in easy ways.”
“Soft sounds around me suggested that others were caught up in similarly strong emotions. How Ma has this effect on people is a mystery: I suspect it has to do with the warmth he brings to music that is fundamentally beyond comprehension. He makes the godlike human.”
“By now, Ma’s wings are fully grown. His capacity for soaring seems limitless, his ability to minutely alter dynamics and tempos at the least prompting and the joy of his lilting rhythms are inspirational.”