Yo Yo Ma to play on US-Mexico border

Yo Yo Ma to play on US-Mexico border


norman lebrecht

April 07, 2019

The cellist, who is playing in Texas this week, has made it a condition that he must give a Bach recital on the bridge over the Rio Grande.

‘It took me about half a millisecond to say yes,’ said Brendan Townsend, music director of the Laredo Philharmonic.

Read here.


  • Steve says:

    Slava made a big impact when he played by the Berlin wall, let’s hope Yo Yo Ma can do the same at the bridge over the Rio Grande.

    • PaulD says:

      The Berlin Wall was designed to keep people in, and kill those trying to get out.

      The U.S. border with Mexico is designed to allow for the legal traffic of persons and goods across the borders of both countries.

      Only a fool could not understand the difference.

      • Bruce says:

        The East Germans would have said the same thing about their wall. Law and order. Security. Perfectly legal and the right thing to do, from their perspective.

        I missed the part where Steve said the walls were the same (other than having a famous cellist perform at them). Surely a lack of reading comprehension on my part. Would you mind pointing it out? Thanks.

      • Steve says:

        Only a fool would not understand that I am not comparing a wall to a bridge, only the fact that two great cellists were/are making a great humanist statement. Please keep you socialism phobia to yourself.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Or will he play a diluted concoction of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”? Does the man really think playing Bach is going to help resolve the troubles? How naïve and delusional. But clever for publicity.

    • Nick2 says:

      Where has it been reported that Yo-Yo Ma thinks playing on the border will “resolve the troubles”? Nowhere other than in Caravaggio’s overripe imagination. And if he thinks Yo-Yo Ma requires publicity at this stage of his life and career, he probably would be better checking onto a clinic than writing drivel on this Board.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Did Yo Yo Ma express those naïve and delusional thoughts?

    • C says:

      “… [is] playing Bach is going to help resolve the troubles? How naïve and delusional. But clever for publicity.”

      Yeah, Caravaggio, one could say the same for Rostropovich in 1989. Did it resolve anything, or did it not? Who knows? Camera-time has been a thing for many decades already; nothing new there. So why deride Ma’s gesture?

    • Alan says:

      He’s doing something. You, as usual, are doing nothing but complaining.

    • jim says:

      I doubt that he thinks he is going to solve anything. It’s a gesture. Perhaps it will help give someone hope or inspiration or just bring a little bit of joy. You have to do what you can with the tools that you have. Yo Yo Ma’s tools are his music and his cello. Through his music he has for many years now done what he can to make this world a better place to live in. What of you done besides bitch and moan and put other people down for doing what you have neither the imagination nor inclination to do?

    • Liak Netsrik says:

      Hi Caravaggio: Yo Yo does not do these events for publicity. I’m an orchestra administrator and know firsthand that he requests to to fill up as much of his spare time when on tour with under the radar and sometimes spontaneous mini-concerts for people in that community who need it the most. He is an incredible person and artist.

  • Alank says:

    Comparing the Berlin Wall to the US border is an obscenity

    • Brian says:

      The parallel with the Berlin Wall and a proposed Mexico-US border wall is that both should never have been constructed (or proposed) in the first place. We should be evolving as a society to break down walls that separate us, not build them up. Bravo to Yo-Yo for doing this.

  • Alexander Tarak says:


  • Cubs Fan says:

    Laredo is a great place if you’re into western, Mexican or cowboy culture (I am!) Nuevo Laredo is a very violent, dangerous place. Gringos are advised by the State Dept to Not travel there. Here’s hoping Yo Yo and JS do some good.

  • V.Lind says:

    It’s just a matter of lending support. Used to be when someone prominent for good reasons did so, it was noted as a good thing, little more. Perhaps thanked for the support. Nothing is being asked or answered here except a prominent musician is lending his support to an argument, on the right side of it, by his appearance.

  • John G. says:

    It would be interesting to know if Mr. Ma believes there is value sovereign national borders. Visitors are of course welcome, but it might be useful to first know who they are.

  • Sharon says:

    As someone who has been involved in political advocacy work I fully understand that there is a big distinction between acting as a witness by making a statement through one’s presence and actually making a difference. One is spiritual (like classical music), the other is more material and pragmatic. Both are important and necessary

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Oh dear god, spare us your virtue signallers. They NEVER get it!! It’s almost always all about them.