Yo-Yo Ma hits the right note for local kids

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Yo-Yo Ma hits the right note for local kids


Yo-Yo Ma teaches members of Sejong Youth Harmony Orchestra at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul yesterday. Provided by the company

Local textile and chemicals conglomerate Hyosung invited cellist Yo-Yo Ma to give young Korean musicians a chance to learn from one of world’s most beloved musicians.

The French-American musician held a free open class for members of the Sejong Youth Harmony Orchestra, composed of 50 children from low-income and multicultural families, at the Seoul Arts Center in southern Seoul yesterday.

“I am so glad to meet young Korean musicians,” Ma said. “I will try to help them continue dreaming of becoming musicians in the future.”

The cellist promised to participate in teaching such classes when he visits Korea in the future to host concerts.

Hyosung, an official sponsor of Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble, said Ma’s visit is significant in that it is the first achievement in two years of the group’s corporate social responsibility efforts, dubbed the Hyosung Cultural Series.

Hyosung has been providing various forms of support for children worldwide to actively take part in cultural, arts and sporting activities. It has provided free lunches for African children, medical services for Vietnamese children and even the Korean traditional food kimchi for youngsters in other countries.

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma is currently on tour in Asia, with dates in such destinations as Hong Kong and China. However, it is the first time that Ma has taught local children while on tour.

Ma’s ensemble was formed in 1998 and consists of top-rated musicians from 20 countries, including Korean percussionist and composer Kim Dong-won and violist Kim You-young.

By Song Su-hyun [ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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