The Silk Road Ensemble draws together distinguished performers and composers from more than twenty countries in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Since the ensemble formed under the artistic direction of cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 2000, the group’s innovative artists have eagerly explored contemporary musical crossroads. Its approach is experimental and democratic, founded on collaboration and risk-taking, on continual learning and sharing among a kaleidoscope of cultures and art forms. Members explore one another’s traditions, celebrating the multiplicity of approaches to music from around the world. They also develop new repertoire that responds to the multicultural reality of global society.
The Silk Road Ensemble has performed throughout Asia, Europe, and North America and has recorded five albums. Off the Map was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2011. The Silk Road Project’s fifteen-year mission to promote innovation and cross-cultural understanding through the arts is showcased in a new CD, A Playlist Without Borders, and DVD, The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma: Live From Tanglewood, released in September 2013 by Sony Masterworks.
The Silk Road Project is a nonprofit arts and educational organization with a vision of connecting the world’s neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences around the globe. Founded by Yo-Yo Ma in 1998 to promote innovation and learning through the arts, the Silk Road Project takes inspiration from the historic Silk Road trading routes as a modern metaphor for multicultural and interdisciplinary exchange.
Under the artistic direction of Mr. Ma and the leadership of CEO and Executive Director Laura Freid, the Project presents performances by the Silk Road Ensemble, engages in cross-cultural exchanges and residencies, leads workshops for students, and partners with cultural institutions to create educational materials and programs. It has been involved in commissioning and performing more than 60 new musical and multimedia works from international composers and arrangers.