Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma

Celebrity Profile

Name: Yo-Yo Ma
Occupation: Cellist
Gender: Male
Height: 178 cm (5' 11'')
Birth Day: October 7, 1955
Age: 67
Birth Place: Paris, France
Zodiac Sign: Libra

Social Accounts

Height: 178 cm (5' 11'')
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
Tattoo(s) N/A

Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma was born on October 7, 1955 in Paris, France (67 years old). Yo-Yo Ma is a Cellist, zodiac sign: Libra. Find out Yo-Yo Manet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He won several Grammy Awards, was honored with the National Medal of Arts in 2001, and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020

$25 million (2016)

Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He wanted to play the double bass because he liked the size of the instrument, but chose the cello as a compromise between the viola, which he had previously learned to play.

Biography Timeline


Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris on October 7, 1955, to Chinese parents and had a musical upbringing. His mother, Marina Lu [zh], was a singer and his father, Hiao-Tsiun Ma [zh], was a violinist and professor of music at Nanjing National Central University (predecessor of the present-day Nanjing University and Southeast University), and they both migrated from the Republic of China to France during the war between the Chinese government and the Communist Party. His sister, Yeou-Cheng Ma, played the violin before obtaining a medical degree and becoming a pediatrician. The family moved to New York when Ma was seven years old.


From the earliest possible age, Ma played the violin, piano and later viola, but settled on cello in 1960 at age four. Ma jokes that his first choice was the double bass due to its large size, but he compromised and took up cello instead. The child prodigy began performing before audiences at age five and performed for presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when he was seven. At age eight, he appeared on American television with his sister in a concert conducted by Leonard Bernstein. In 1964, Isaac Stern introduced them on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and they performed the Sonata of Sammartini. He attended Trinity School in New York but transferred to the Professional Children's School, from which he graduated at age 15. He appeared as a soloist with the Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra in a performance of the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations.


Ma studied at The Juilliard School at age 19 with Leonard Rose and attended Columbia University, but dropped out. He later enrolled at Harvard College. Prior to entering Harvard, Ma played in the Marlboro Festival Orchestra under the direction of cellist and conductor Pau Casals. Ma spent four summers at the Marlboro Music Festival after meeting and falling in love with Mount Holyoke College sophomore and festival administrator Jill Hornor his first summer there in 1972.


Even before that time, Ma had gained fame, and had performed with many of the world's major orchestras. He has also played chamber music, often with pianist Emanuel Ax, with whom he has a close friendship from their days together at the Juilliard School of Music. Ma received his bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1976. In 1991, he received an honorary doctorate from Harvard.


Since 1978, Ma has been married to Jill Hornor, an arts consultant. They have two children, Nicholas and Emily. Although he personally considers it the "worst epithet he's ever faced", he was still "tagged" in 2001 as "Sexiest Classical Musician" by People. He has continued to receive such accolades over the years, including from AARP in 2012. He has also been praised as a man of unquestionable character and has been singled out for his humble spirit, self-effacing manner, and humanitarianism.


On July 5, 1986, Ma performed on the New York Philharmonic's tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which was televised live on ABC Television. The orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, performed in Central Park.


In 1997, he was featured on John Williams' soundtrack to the Hollywood film Seven Years in Tibet. In 2000, he was heard on the soundtrack of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and, in 2003, on that of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. He collaborated with Williams again on the original score for the 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha. Ma has also worked with Italian composer Ennio Morricone and has recorded Morricone's compositions of the Dollars Trilogy including The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, as well as Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, and The Untouchables. He also has over 90 albums, 18 of which are Grammy Award winners. Ma is a recipient of the International Center in New York's Award of Excellence.


In addition to his prolific musical career, Ma in 1999 collaborated with landscape architects to design a Bach inspired garden. This space known as the Music Garden interprets Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello - BWV 1007, constructing each section in the garden to fit the dance movements within the suite. Originally planned for Boston, Toronto enthusiastically embraced the plan and it was subsequently built in the Harbourfront (Toronto) neighbourhood.


Ma performed a duet with Condoleezza Rice at the presentation of the 2001 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal Awards. Ma was the first performer on September 11, 2002, at the site of the World Trade Center, while the first of the names of the dead were read in remembrance on the first anniversary of the attack on the WTC. He played the Sarabande from Bach's Cello Suite #5 in C Minor. He performed a special arrangement of Sting's "Fragile" with Sting and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir during the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has also appeared as a Pennington Great Performers series artist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra in 2005.


Ma was named Peace Ambassador by then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in January 2006. He is a founding member of the influential Chinese-American Committee of 100, which addresses the concerns of Americans of Chinese heritage.


Ma was a guest on the "Not My Job" segment of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! on April 7, 2007, where he won for listener Thad Moore.


On October 27, 2008, Ma appeared as a guest and performer on The Colbert Report. He was also one of the show's guests on November 1, 2011, where he performed songs from crafting an album, The Goat Rodeo Sessions with fellow musicians Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. Ma also performed several of Bach's cello suites for the 2012 film Bill W.. On October 5, 2015, he appeared on Colbert's new program The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, in support of ballerina Misty Copeland and prematurely celebrating his 60th birthday.


On November 3, 2009, President Obama appointed Ma to serve on the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. His music was featured in the 2010 documentary Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story, narrated by Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman. In 2010, President Obama announced that he would be recognizing Ma with the Presidential Medal of Freedom; Ma was presented with the award at the ceremonies in February 2011.

He performed John Williams's "Air and Simple Gifts" at the inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, along with Itzhak Perlman (violin), Gabriela Montero (piano), and Anthony McGill (clarinet). While the quartet did play live, the music, played simultaneously over speakers and on television, was a recording made two days prior due to concerns over the cold weather damaging the instruments. Ma was quoted as saying, "A broken string was not an option. It was wicked cold."

On May 3, 2009, Ma performed the world premiere of Bruce Adolphe's "Self Comes to Mind" for solo cello and two percussionists with John Ferrari and Ayano Kataoka at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The work is based on a poetic description written for the composer of the evolution of brain into mind by neuroscientist Antonio Damasio and featured, at the premiere, a film of brain scans provided by Hanna Damasio and other images, coordinated with the music during the performance.

On August 29, 2009, Ma performed at the funeral mass for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Pieces he performed included the Sarabande movement from Bach's Cello Suite No. 6 and Franck's Panis angelicus with Plácido Domingo.

On October 3, 2009, Ma appeared alongside Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the National Arts Centre gala in Ottawa. Harper, a fan of The Beatles, played the piano and sang a rendition of "With A Little Help From My Friends" while Ma accompanied him on his cello. On October 16, 2011, he performed at the memorial for Steve Jobs held in Stanford University's Memorial Church.


In 2010, Ma was named Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In partnership with the orchestra's music director, Riccardo Muti, he launched the Citizen Musician initiative. Yo-Yo Ma is represented by the independent artist management firm Opus 3 Artists. Also in 2010, he appeared on a solo album by guitarist Carlos Santana, Guitar Heaven : The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time, playing alongside Santana and singer India Arie on a Beatles' classic, While My Guitar Gently Weeps.


In 2011, Ma performed with American dancer Charles "Lil Buck" Riley in the United States and in China at the U.S.-China Forum on the Arts and Culture.


On April 18, 2013, Ma performed at an interfaith service to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He played the Sarabande from Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor. Also, he and other musicians accompanied members of the Boston Children's Chorus in a hymn.


In 2015, Ma performed alongside singer-songwriter and guitarist James Taylor for two separate tracks on Taylor's chart-topping record Before This World: You And I Again, in addition to the title track.


On September 12, 2017, Ma performed all six of Bach's cello suites at the Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles). After the first three suites, there was a "ten-minute pause" (as the Bowl video screen described it). An estimated 17,000 in attendance also heard Ma perform an encore, a tribute to "cellist Pablo Casals, who as a 13-year-old in 1890 discovered an old copy of the Bach suites in a secondhand music store, bringing them to modern attention. Ma's memorable last words were to any 13-year-olds in the audience: "Don't throw anything away."


In August 2018, Ma appeared on NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts.


In 2019, Ma will be directing at the 2019 Youth Music Culture Guangdong.

On 1 May 2019, Ma performed at Paranal Observatory in the Atacama desert. Ma was motivated to visit the astronomical observatory and perform at this location by his interest in astronomy.

On June 20, 2019, Ma performed the Bach Complete Cello Suites in plein air at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois. The free performance attracted what might have been his largest audience, with a pavilion capacity of 11,000, and many thousands more listening in from the surrounding Millennium Park.


On June 19, 2020, the same group of musicians who recorded The Goat Rodeo Sessions released a second album entitled Not Our First Goat Rodeo.

Family Life

Yo-Yo had two children with German language instructor Jill Hornor, whom he married in 1978

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Yo-Yo Ma is 67 years, 3 months and 30 days old. Yo-Yo Ma will celebrate 68th birthday on a Saturday 7th of October 2023. Below we countdown to Yo-Yo Ma upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

59th birthday - Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Profile of the Day: Yo-Yo Ma

Does music run in your family? Today legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma celebrates his 59th birthday! Born in Paris France to Chinese parents, music was a large part of everyday life in the Ma family. His mother, Marina Lu, was a singer and his father, Hiao-Tsiun Ma, was a violinist and professor of music at Nanjing National Central University. A child prodigy, Ma began performing in front of live audiences at the age of 5 and... Read the full story

Yo-Yo Ma 59th birthday timeline

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