Tickets & Events

Tanglewood Learning InstituteTLI OpenStudioBach Cello Suites Class led by Yo-Yo Ma

Tanglewood Learning Institute
TLI OpenStudio
Bach Cello Suites Class led by Yo-Yo Ma

Tanglewood

Seiji Ozawa Hall - Lenox, MA View Map

Led by world-renowned musicians, TLI OpenStudio master classes give you the rare opportunity to witness our exceptionally talented Tanglewood Music Center Fellows fine-tune their interpretive skills while exploring nuances of the classical repertoire.

Featured Performers

Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Yo-Yo Ma, cello View biography in full page >

Yo-Yo Ma's multi-faceted career is testament to his enduring belief in culture's power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture's role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Mr. Ma strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity.

Mr. Ma maintains a balance between engagements as a soloist with orchestras, recital and chamber music activities, and collaborations with a wide circle of artists and institutions. With partners from around the world and across disciplines, Mr. Ma creates programs that stretch the boundaries of genre and tradition to explore music-making as a means not only to share and express meaning, but also as a model for the cultural collaboration he considers essential to a strong society. 

Expanding upon this belief, in 1998 Mr. Ma established Silkroad, a collective of artists from around the world who create music that engages their many traditions. In addition to presenting performances in venues from Suntory Hall to the Hollywood Bowl, Silkroad collaborates with museums and universities to develop training programs for teachers, musicians, and learners of all ages. Silkroad has commissioned more than 100 new works from composers and arrangers around the globe, and released seven albums, most recently a collection of music recorded for The Vietnam War, a documentary film from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Through his work with Silkroad, as well as throughout his career, Yo-Yo Ma seeks to expand the classical cello repertoire, frequently performing lesser-known music of the 20th century and commissions of new concertos and recital pieces. He has premiered works by a diverse group of composers, among them Osvaldo Golijov, Leon Kirchner, Zhao Lin, Christopher Rouse, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Giovanni Sollima, Bright Sheng, Tan Dun, and John Williams.

In addition to his work as a performing artist, Mr. Ma partners with communities and institutions from Chicago to Guangzhou to develop programs that champion culture's power to transform lives and forge a more connected world. Among his many roles, he is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant; artistic advisor at large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; artistic director of the annual Youth Music Culture Guangdong festival; and UN Messenger of Peace. He is the first artist ever appointed to the World Economic Forum's board of trustees.  

Mr. Ma's discography of over 100 albums (including 19 Grammy Award winners) reflects his wide-ranging interests. In addition to his many iconic renditions of the Western classical canon, he has made several recordings that defy categorization, among them "Appalachia Waltz" and "Appalachian Journey" with Mark O'Connor and Edgar Meyer, and two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil, "Obrigado Brazil" and "Obrigado Brazil - Live in Concert." Mr. Ma's recent recordings include: "Songs from the Arc of Life," with pianist Kathryn Stott; "Sing Me Home," with the Silkroad Ensemble, which won the 2016 Grammy for Best World Music Album; "Bach Trios," with Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile; "Brahms: The Piano Trios," with Emanuel Ax and Leonidas Kavakos; and "Six Evolutions - Bach: Cello Suites."

This year, Mr. Ma begins a new journey, setting out to perform Johann Sebastian Bach's six suites for solo cello in one sitting in 36 locations around the world, iconic venues that encompass our cultural heritage, our current creativity, and the challenges of peace and understanding that will shape our future. Each concert will be an example of culture's power to create moments of shared understanding, as well as an invitation to a larger conversation about culture, society, and the themes that connect us all.

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). He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the invitation of President Obama on the occasion of the 56th Inaugural Ceremony.  

Mr. Ma and his wife have two children. He plays two instruments, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius. 

 

Yo-Yo Ma, cello Tanglewood Music Center Instrumental  Fellows
Tanglewood Music Center Instrumental  Fellows View biography in full page >

THE TRAINING GROUNDS FOR THE MUSICIANS OF TOMORROW


The Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship Program is the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer academy for advanced musical study. The TMC offers an intensive schedule of study and performance for emerging professional instrumentalists, singers, conductors, and composers who have completed most of their formal training in music.
 

Serge Koussevitzky, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's music director from 1924 to 1949, founded the school with the intention of creating a premier music academy where, with the resources of a great symphony orchestra at their disposal, young musicians would sharpen their skills under the tutelage of Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians and other specially invited artists.


The Berkshire Music Center opened formally on July 8, 1940, with both speeches (Koussevitzky, alluding to the war then raging in Europe, said, "If ever there was a time to speak of music, it is now in the New World") and music, including the first performance of Randall Thompson's Alleluia for unaccompanied chorus, which was written for the ceremony and arrived less than an hour before the event was to begin, but which made such an impression that it is sung every summer at the TMC's Opening Exercises. The TMC became Koussevitzky's pride and joy for the rest of his life. He assembled an extraordinary faculty in composition, operatic and choral activities, and instrumental performance; he himself taught the most gifted conductors.
 

Koussevitzky continued to develop the Tanglewood Music Center until 1950, a year after his retirement as the BSO's music director. Charles Munch, his successor in that position, ran the TMC from 1951 through 1962, working with Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland to shape the school's programs. In 1963, new BSO Music Director Erich Leinsdorf took over the school's reins, returning to Koussevitzky's hands-on leadership approach while restoring a renewed emphasis on contemporary music. The TMC's annual Festival of Contemporary Music, produced in association with the Fromm Music Foundation, was begun in 1963.
 

In 1970, three years before his appointment as BSO music director, Seiji Ozawa became head of the BSO's programs at Tanglewood, with Gunther Schuller leading the TMC and Leonard Bernstein as general advisor. Leon Fleisher served as the TMC's Artistic Director from 1985 to 1997. In 1994, with the opening of Seiji Ozawa Hall, the TMC centralized its activities on the Leonard Bernstein Campus, which also includes the Aaron Copland Library, chamber music studios, administrative offices, and the Leonard Bernstein Performers Pavilion adjacent to Ozawa Hall. In 1998, Ellen Highstein was appointed to the new position of Director of the Tanglewood Music Center, operating under the artistic supervision of Seiji Ozawa. Maestro James Levine took over as Music Director of the BSO in 2005 and has continued the tradition of hands-on involvement with the TMC, conducting both orchestral concerts and staged operas, as well as participating in masterclasses for singers, conductors, and composers.
 

It would be impossible to list all the distinguished musicians who have studied at the Tanglewood Music Center. According to recent estimates, 20 percent of the members of American symphony orchestras, and 30 percent of all first-chair players, studied at the TMC.
 

Today, alumni of the Tanglewood Music Center play a vital role in the musical life of the nation. Tanglewood and the Tanglewood Music Center, have become a fitting shrine to the memory of Serge Koussevitzky, a living embodiment of the vital, humanistic tradition that was his legacy. At the same time, the Tanglewood Music Center maintains its commitment to the future as one of the world's most important training grounds for the composers, conductors, instrumentalists, and vocalists of tomorrow.

Tanglewood Music Center Instrumental Fellows