Just in: $3 million for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad

Just in: $3 million for Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad


norman lebrecht

March 19, 2021

Press release:

Boston, MA — Silkroad, the non-profit organization founded by celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma and home of the Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble, has been awarded $3 million by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The largest gift in Silkroad’s 21-year history will support a four-year capacity-building effort to expand educational initiatives that are steeped in social justice and equity, and to create new musical projects that connect people and inspire hope. These programs will be fulfilled under the creative leadership of Artistic Director Rhiannon Giddens.



  • M says:

    this is ridiculous… this is starbuck’s background noise and virtue signaling at peak form.

    • Rogerio says:

      You can’t let the state get too big, so you gotta let the rich keep all their money and hope they get philanthropic in order to pay their way into heaven.
      Congratulations to Yo-Ma-Ma.

    • Nick2 says:

      That may be true in your city but certainly not the case in most others. I have sat in packed audiences in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore few of whom would have been conversant with any of the music being performed. They were utterly entranced by the Ensemble.

  • msc says:

    That headline is a bit unfair. Ma is still associated with the project but, as I understand it, has little to do with its management. He won’t get a cent of the money and would have only informal influence over how it will be spent.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    How wonderful. Congratulations to an excellent ensemble known for its work with the disadvantaged,

  • Zandonai says:

    I’m confident the current state of woke-ness will yo-yo back once people realize how ludicrous this whole thing is.

  • fflambeau says:

    BE careful. At first, this sounds wonderful but foundations give out such money for purposes. I say this as a former Ford Foundation Fellow who came to realize that that foundation simply wanted its grant recipients to see and speak of the U.S.A. their way.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      What a numpty, do you really expect to be given money by ANY foundation or sponsor and then have free reign to slag them off. Did you not do any research about the Ford Foundation before accepting the award? Grow up!

  • Beau says:

    Music heals and educates those with an open mind.

  • Guest says:

    Just make great music and forget virtue signaling about “social justice and equity.”