Yo-Yo Ma is an American (born in France) cellist. He was a child prodigy and was performing by age five. He completed a Bachelor's degree from Harvard University. He has played as a soloist with many major orchestras. His 75 albums have received fifteen Grammy Awards.
Ma possesses a more eclectic repertoire than is typical for classical musicians. In addition to numerous recordings of the standard Classical repertoire, he has recorded American bluegrass music; traditional Chinese melodies; the tangos of Argentinian composer Ástor Piazzolla; Brazilian music; and an eclectic and unusual collaboration with Bobby McFerrin.
Ma's primary performance instrument is a Montagnana cello built in 1733 valued at US$2.5 million.
He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2001, Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011, and the Polar Music Prize in 2012.