Musicians Who Rock!

Yo Yo Ma - The Silk Road Ensemble

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This French-born Chinese-American cellist has been performing since the mere age of 5. Yo Yo Ma graduated from both Juilliard School of Music and Harvard University – both colleges that need little introduction for their scholastic achievement and social prestige. Yo Yo Ma’s music arouses creativity and imagination no matter where he performs – as a soloist or even with a full-on ensemble. His exceptional music capabilities has brought him to great heights, winning him 18 Grammy Awards up to date.

Yo Yo Ma’s music appeals to many audiences because he is adept at connecting musical forms from different cultures – from Western and traditional Chinese music to the unique music of the Kalahari bush people in Africa. He sincerely believes that music is a means of communication across different cultures and he constantly seeks to understand its language. To expand his beliefs and interest, he established the Silk Road Ensemble in 1998. Silkroad is a collection of “rooted explorers, inclusive independents, story telling musicians, passionate learners, connected nomads, and cultural entrepreneurs” who seek out ways to connect and collaborate and build on meaning change in humanity.

Lang Lang | 郎朗

 Lang Lang is a Chinese concert pianist who has performed with many significant orchestras around the world. At the mere age of 5, he won first place at the Shenyang Piano Competition. Following that achievement, he was awarded the first prize for the Xing Hai Cup Piano Competition in Beijing in 1993, the most outstanding artistic performance at the 4th International Competition for Young Pianists in Germany, and also the first place at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Japan, all before the age of 14. Lang Lang furthered his studies with Gary Graffman, a well-known master pianist, at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Following his extraordinary talents, a series of doors of opportunities led open for Lang Lang one after another. He was chosen to fill in for the famous pianist Andre Watts at the Ravinia Festival and made headlines through his outstanding performance. President George W. Bush once even commented that his performance was enchanting. As a world class musician who have captured the hearts of many, Lang Lang’s talents and abilities have proven that Chinese musicians are able to break into mainstream classical music.

2 Cellos - Rock Cellist

Meet Croatian cello rock duo – Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser. Their journey began when they rose to fame after their exceptional cover of “Smooth Criminal” on YouTube which received over twelve million views. Although they mainly cover rock songs, the duo only play with orchestras and have commented that they will not abandon their classical music roots. Sulic and Hauser were signed on to Sony Masterworks since 2011 and have released three pop rock instrumental albums thus far. Music producer Bob Erzin has helped the duo produce an album that took a new twist to classic tracks. The duo have covered songs such as Coldplay’s Clocks and Muse’s Supermassive Black Hole and have achieved recognizable fame through TV appearances in TV series Glee and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Elton John has also asked the 2 Cellos to appear with him on his 2011 summer tour.

David Garrett - Fastest Fingers

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David Garrett started playing the violin by the age of 4, and when he reached 8 he was already playing alongside some of the world’s leading orchestras and musicians. Garrett plays on an extremely rare and valuable 300 year of Stradivarius violin which he was presented as a gift from the German President, Richard von Weizsacker. Before he was 15, he had already played with the Hamburg Philharmonics and been the youngest artist to be presented a contract with Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft. To perfect his violin techniques, he went to further his studies at the Julliard School of Music.

In 2008, he released his album Encore. Encore contains Garrett’s original compositions and arrangements which included classical sonatas, rock songs, and movie themes. It aimed to engage listeners to appreciate the beauty of classical music. Following that, Garrett has also appeared at the Royal Variety Performance playing his cover of Nirvana’s ‘Smells like teen spirit.’

Taylor Davis  – Video Games Violinist

Making good Youtube music videos and translating it into fame isn’t the easiest thing to do but Taylor Davis is definitely an exception to that rule. She skyrocketed from relative obscurity to Youtube superstardom because of her musical talent and skills on the violin. Davis releases her own original compositions and does violin covers of music from video games using Youtube as a platform to showcase her creations to the world. Her video “He is a Pirate” – a re-arrangement of a Pirates of the Caribbean track has collected over 11 million views with 800,000 subscribers.

gramercy-admin, Gramercy Talks provides you an insider’s guide to classical music, operas, and musicals in Singapore. We are here to provide you with good musical related content and updates while promoting creativity and innovation through music and the arts.
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