Master Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Visits MSU

Students and campus community pack Fairchild Theatre to listen to his expertise and advice.

One of the many perks that MSU music students enjoy is having a world-class performing arts center that attracts top performers like cellist Yo-Yo Ma to campus. After his sold-out performance at Wharton Center in November with pianist Kathryn Stott, Ma spent part of the day on Nov. 19 with College of Music students giving a master class before a full house at Fairchild Theatre.  

Chi-Hui Kao, Jinhyun Kim, and Hong Hong, all DMA candidates in the College of Music—were critiqued by Ma, who listened to their performances from different spots throughout the theatre.

Ma offered his expert opinion on the dynamics and expression of particular excerpts of the works and he also gave examples by playing a few bars of some of the pieces. He took questions from the audience and shared some personal thoughts on classical music and performing art.

“You want to make every performance as alive as possible for yourself and everyone else,” he told the students. “If we love music, we must find out why we love it and then keep sharing it so the art will continue. Art is a good way to practice imagination. Art—for art’s sake—for life’s sake!”

Candid photos courtesy Chi-Hui Kao.

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