South China Morning Post: Yo-Yo Ma China Music Camp - Youth Music Culture Guangdong

South China Morning Post
Bernice Chan

Nine days of classes in Guangzhou take students out of their comfort zone – and Ma, the event’s musical director, is always on hand to encourage, advise and inspire them to experiment and try the unknown.

 Yo-Yo Ma and Australian-Chinese cellist Rachel Siu high-five. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Yo-Yo Ma and Australian-Chinese cellist Rachel Siu high-five. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

They all wear sweatshirts bearing the letters YMCG, which stand for “Youth Music Culture Guangdong”. Amid the sea of black shirts it is difficult to spot the music camp’s artistic director, renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, until he stands up on the conductor’s podium.

The aim of the music camp is “deep learning”, Ma says, in which the students make connections with the people they meet, but also discovering what links classical music composers such as Beethoven and the improvisational Silk Road Ensemble that Ma founded in 1998.

It is the second such annual musical camp hosted by Ma in the southern Chinese metropolis. Participation is free for those who pass video auditions, as is food and accommodation. Students’ only expense is the cost of their travel to Guangzhou.

Read the full article and watch a video about Youth Music Culture Guangdong here.