Yo-Yo Ma: Cellist in chief

In 1961, Pablo Casals played for John F. Kennedy at the White House. The concert could be seen as a symbol of the importance of the arts to the Kennedy administration, or as a gesture of honor to a great cellist.

But there’s no question, when the concert is re-created next year as part of the Kennedy Center’s tribute to the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s inauguration, about who will represent Casals. When there’s a commemorative event that calls for classical music, Yo-Yo Ma is almost sure to be the person playing it.

“My involvement in the political arena is to make sure there’s a place for culture,” Ma said in a recent interview over breakfast near his home in Cambridge, Mass. And one of music’s accepted roles is a commemorative one. “Weddings, bar mitzvahs, funerals, an inauguration,” Ma says, “those are the moments when it serves a moment.” And Ma is happy to make music wherever it’s needed. After all, it helps get the message across.

Read the full interview in The Washington Post here.

Los Angeles Philharmonic 2010/11 Season

Los Angeles (February 16, 2010) – Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director Gustavo Dudamel and President and CEO Deborah Borda today announced the 2010/11 season of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Dudamel and the LA Phil move into the second season of their partnership, one which allows for a greatly expanded presence for Dudamel in Los Angeles. The momentum and initiatives of Dudamel‟s inaugural season continue with 12 new commissions, 9 world premieres, 5 U.S. premieres, 5 West Coast premieres, 2 composer-based festivals, a major European tour and a series of artistic partnerships. The vibrant season, which embraces innovation, excellence and commitment to community, is further embodied in the expansion of YOLA, along with a spectrum of imaginative presentations and the continuing tradition of introducing rising artists and composers.

Read the full press release here [PDF].
Read the coverage in the Los Angeles Times here.