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About Us

Ensemble member Yang Wei playing the pipa for schoolchildren at Museum Rietberg in Zurich, Switzerland

© RAINER WOLFSBERGER

Engaging New Audiences
Silk Road Ensemble member Yang Wei plays the pipa for schoolchildren at Museum Rietberg in Zurich, Switzerland. Residencies in museums and universities allow Ensemble members to take inspiration from works of visual art, collaborate on new projects, and share musical traditions with audiences in informal settings.


Silk Road Ensemble member Kojiro Umezaki and Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma.

Silk Road Ensemble member Kojiro Umezaki and Artistic Director Yo-Yo Ma

© WILL KRACHER

Mission & Vision

Inspired by the cultural traditions of the historical Silk Road, the Silk Road Project is a catalyst promoting innovation and learning through the arts.

Our vision is to connect the world’s neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences around the globe.

The Silk Road Project

The Silk Road Project is an internationally minded performing arts nonprofit with cultural and educational missions to promote innovation and learning through the arts. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded the Project in 1998 taking inspiration from the historical Silk Road trading routes and using the Silk Road as a modern metaphor for sharing and learning across cultures, art forms and disciplines.

Under the artistic direction of Mr. Ma and the leadership of CEO & Executive Director Laura Freid, the Silk Road Project acts as an imagination platform, encouraging dialogue among artists and musicians, educators and entrepreneurs. The Project presents performances by the acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble, holds cross-cultural exchanges and residencies, leads workshops for students, and partners with prominent cultural institutions to create educational programs and materials. 

Silk Road Connect, the Project's multidisciplinary arts-integrated approach to education, works with students and teachers to inspire passion-driven learning.

Developing new music is a central undertaking of the Silk Road Project, which has been involved in commissioning and performing more than 70 new musical and multimedia works from composers and arrangers from around the world.


“Every time I open a newspaper, I am reminded that we live in a world where we can no longer afford not to know our neighbors.”
– YO-YO MA