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An Audible Original event blending intimate memoir and exclusive performances

Interview: Yo-Yo Ma's 'Beginner's Mind' Is a Musical Meditation on the Power of Art

'For some people, music is food. It fulfills a need.'
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  • Beginner's Mind
  • 'For some people, music is food. It fulfills a need.'

About the Creator and Performer

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s life and career are testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Yo-Yo strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity.
Yo-Yo was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris, where he began studying the cello with his father at age four. When he was seven, he moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he sought out a liberal arts education, graduating from Harvard in 1976.
He has recorded more than 100 albums, is the winner of 18 Grammy Awards, and has performed for nine American presidents, most recently on the occasion of President Biden’s inauguration. Yo-Yo has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of the Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Kennedy Center Honors, has been a UN Messenger of Peace since 2006, and was recognized as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.
Yo-Yo’s latest album is Songs of Comfort and Hope, created and recorded with pianist Kathryn Stott in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What listeners say about Beginner's Mind

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Simply beautifully, deeply humane ...

Listening to Beginner's Mind, is a fertile sanctuary providing reassurance that paths are made by walking and the same is true for human and natural connections that flourish and flower. This will be listened to by me again and again.. beautiful reading and music to carry the stories.

The narratives highlight a reverence for life's unfolding as guided by the returns of being in awe, moved and curious about people, the natural world and the hopes of reducing others' strife - and the power of music and art in all that ties us to each other, nature and the expansion of what sustains a better life for each other.

Regardless of vocation, the concepts resound and reassure the path worth walking. As a physician scientist, the concepts align with 'patient-centredness' which drives everything good in science and healthcare whether qualitative or quantitative - the curiosity, humility and awe of others' experiences and responsiveness to these inform science as a changing, productive and glorious field ... art and music seem kindred in this... in all walks, continually refreshing this listening referential frame of ourselves and other as 'new sandcastles await building each day' are elemental to that which 'binds us together as a human-beings' and I would add to the natural world.

Thank you for this lovely piece of sustenance in life and work.
LAS

23 people found this helpful

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Inspiring, Moving, and Engaging

A beautiful listen from a true master. Inspiring, engaging, and filled with important life lessons.

14 people found this helpful

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Incredible

Most beautiful thing I have ever listened to. Incredible insight into Yo-Yo Ma and being human.

11 people found this helpful

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Appreciation and Awareness

YoYo Ma's apparent wisdom and talent gained through life by hard work is shared in this book. It was a joy to listen to several times. If only more of us could be so spiritually minded yet down to earth it would help everyone stop, think, and act in a calm manner. What a special person YoYo Ma is and we are delighted to have this presentation.

7 people found this helpful

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Inspired!

Absolutely beautifully insightful story, grounding voice, and soul touching music.
Timely hopeful guide for the arc of humanity.
Thank You Yo Yo Ma and Audible!

7 people found this helpful

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Inspiring and moving

I had not expected that an audio book could be experienced so profoundly through Yo-Yo Ma’s music and his personal story. It moved me to tears with a strong sense of connection to humanity. Invite him to your living room in this audio original and be ready to FEEL the emotions that words cannot describe and inspiration to come afterwards!

5 people found this helpful

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Exquisite

My daughter has met Maestro Ma and says he is unassuming and very humble. She is right. She left out compelling. Don't miss this book, especially if you love his music.

4 people found this helpful

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Beginner's Mind

This is a wonderful way to spend an hour and a half. Yo-Yo Ma is a national, no, an international treasure. A universal treasure, for all I know. Not only is he a stunningly talented and curious and open musician, but he is also a stellar human being. The music here is a catalog of international sounds and ideas; Yo-Yo Ma is giving us lessons about what we can do with our humanity. We can use it to enrich and unite our fellow human beings. The history of our species should not be who we can hate and conquer, but who we can cherish and learn from. Love love love him.

4 people found this helpful

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You don’t want to miss this.

Such a wonderful audio book: Yo-Yo Ma’s voice narrating his words, interspersed with his music. Highest possible recommendation.

4 people found this helpful

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Loved it

YoYo Ma is not only a brilliant musician but an insightful human being. Loved that he told his story in his own voice interspersed with complimentary musical pieces. Thoroughly enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful