TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — World-renowned American cellist Yo-Yo Ma (馬友友) took the stage at the Taipei Music Center on Tuesday (Nov. 10) in his first live performance since February and praised Taiwan for its effective handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of his The Bach Project tour, Ma greeted an audience of over 4,000 in the Taiwanese capital Tuesday evening with his interpretation of Bach's six suites for solo cello. Ma has said the 36-stop, six-continent tour is aimed at exploring how culture connects people around the world.
Ma was originally scheduled to perform in Taipei in March, but his visit was delayed by the global outbreak. After negotiating with Taiwanese health officials, he received approval to undergo a shortened quarantine period before going on stage Tuesday.
During the performance, the 65-year-old musician praised Taiwan for being a role model to the international community in the fight against COVID-19. He said he was inspired by the unity of the Taiwanese people.
Ma emphasized that Bach's six suites for solo cello have accompanied him during his happiest and saddest moments. He said he wanted to dedicate Tuesday's performance to "people who have lost their health, opportunities, dignity, and lives."
Ma also surprised the audience with a special guest — indigenous Taiwanese singer Abao, who won Album of the Year, Best Indigenous Language Album, and Song of the Year at the 31st Golden Melody Awards last month. The two closed with Abao's song "Thank you" in honor of frontline medical workers in Taiwan and around the world, reported CNA.
Following Saturday's show in Taipei, Ma will travel to other parts of the country for four performances with British pianist Kathryn Stott. Their concerts will take place at the Tainan Cultural Center on Nov. 11, National Taichung Theater on Nov. 13, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts on Nov. 14, and National Concert Hall in Taipei on Nov. 15, according to local promoter The Management of New Art.
Indigenous Taiwanese singer Abao at Golden Melody Awards. (CNA photo)