CUHK 60th Anniversary: Yo-Yo Ma & HK Phil

CUHK 60th Anniversary: Yo-Yo Ma & HK Phil

Pursuing excellence for six decades, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has nurtured generations of bright minds. To commemorate the diamond jubilee of the University, widely acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma will join hands with Jaap van Zweden, Music Director of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra (HK Phil), to bring Hong Kong audience “CUHK 60th Anniversary: Yo-Yo Ma & HK Phil” concert in November. As a concerted effort of the 60th Anniversary Alumni Sub-group, Shaw College Alumni Association and CUHK’s Music Department, the one-evening-only concert marks the star soloist’s return to the city after seven years.

A pre-concert talk will be held at CUHK’s Lee Hysan Concert Hall on 1 August to help the audience enjoy the University’s flagship anniversary event. In the talk, chairman of CUHK’s Department of Music Professor Frederick Lau and HK Phil’s Director of Marketing Mr Dennis Wu will share their views about Ma’s music and life.

CUHK 60th Anniversary: Yo-Yo Ma & HK Phil
Date 8 November 2023 (Wednesday)
Time 8pm
Venue Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall
Ticket Price $1980/ $1480/ $980/ $480
Ticketing Arrangement

a. Season Subscription Period of HK Phil :
Period One: 4 – 17 JUL 2023
Period Two: 18 – 31 JUL 2023
For details, please refer to HK Phil’s official website

b. Single Ticket Sales at URBTIX :
Available from 8 AUG 2023

Child prodigy cellist playing heavenly music

World-renowned Yo-Yo Ma was born in Paris in 1955. His father was a music educator and his mother a mezzo-soprano. He has shown his musical talent since childhood, beginning his musical journey with the cello when he was four, giving a public performance at the University of Paris at the age of six and making his Carnegie Hall debut at nine. Ma has performed for US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy and his wife in the White House. He has recorded more than 90 albums and won 18 Grammy Awards, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2020.

Whatever music he is playing, he has the knack of making it sound fresh. This comes from the synthesis of incredible technique with the most careful thought process, with Ma’s intellect and virtuosity informing every piece of music he plays. The former New York Times music critic Donal Henahan once said of one of Ma’s performances that he had stretched each musical strand to “just right tautness, drawing full excitement from its rhythmic impulse without bruising the lovely melodies”.

Ma has been innovative in his musical pursuits, helping him shine on the world stage. In addition to his extraordinary musical achievements, his deep understanding of art and culture are among the keys to his success. He said: “Culture is the expression of humans’ emotions. As a performer, I don’t aim at playing a musical piece perfectly but strive to engage and enchant the audience with my music. It applies to performance, conversation and teaching too. Education and culture are alike: both can create precious memories.”

Bond with CUHK, boundless cultural mission

Ma has a deep connection with CUHK. He is the nephew of CUHK’s founding Vice Chancellor Dr Choh-Ming Li. He visited CUHK in March 1977. Former chairman of CUHK’s Department of Translation Dr Chan Sin-wai translated the book My Son, Yo-Yo, written by his mother Mrs Marina Ma, to help Chinese readers better understand his growth. In 1993, CUHK, during its 30th anniversary, conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa. 

With staunch support from CUHK alumni for the concert, the University has set up the CUHK 60th Anniversary Artistic Talent Development Fund with a tentative target of subsidising 10 students per year. It aims at nurturing arts talent by subsidising CUHK students with aspirations in music, arts and cultural management to take part in summer internship or overseas exchange programmes to lay a solid foundation in their respective professions. The fund has accumulated donations of over HK$2.5 million. Alumni are welcome to support the fund so that it benefits more students, making the concert even more meaningful.

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