Yo-Yo Ma cello
Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and three years later moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he sought out a liberal arts education, graduating from Harvard University with a degree in anthropology in 1976.
He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the Glenn Gould Prize (1999), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Dan David Prize (2006), the Leonie Sonning Music Prize (2006), the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award (2008), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), Kennedy Center Honors (2011), the Polar Music Prize (2012), the Vilcek Prize in Contemporary Music (2013), and the J. Paul Getty Medal Award (2016).
Yo-Yo Ma has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.
He plays three instruments, a 2003 Moes & Moes cello, made in the United States, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice, and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.
Born in Milan, Daniele Gatti studied piano and graduated in composition and conducting at the city’s Verdi Conservatory. He is Music Director of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and Artistic Advisor of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He was Chief Conductor of the Concertgebouworkest and previously he has held prestigious roles at important musical institutions like the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, l’Orchestre National de France, the Royal Opera House, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the Opernhaus Zürich. As a guest conductor, Daniele Gatti regularly leads the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala.
He has conducted many new productions at leading opera houses all over the world and has close ties with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and the Viennese Staatsoper. Maestro Gatti is one of the few Italian conductors ever invited to the Festival of Bayreuth, where he conducted Wagner’s Parsifal in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Daniele Gatti is Grande Ufficiale al Merito della Repubblica Italiana and Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres de la République Française, and was awarded the prestigious Franco Abbiati Prize in both 2005 and 2016. In July 2016, the French Republic named him Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.