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Percussionist's hands with mallets striking percussive bowls

© DAVID O’CONNOR

Silk Road Ensemble Instruments
Silk Road Ensemble musicians play a variety of instruments from around the world, some of them as simple as these percussion bowls. Some have origins in a single region; the development of others over time illustrates the interactions among cultures along the historical Silk Road.


The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma performing for a crowd in the Spangler Center

A flash concert at the Harvard Business School in September 2011

© DAVID O'CONNOR

The Silk Road Project at Harvard University

The Silk Road Project's office moved to the Harvard campus in July 2010 at the outset of a five-year affiliation with the University. The Project is acting as a working laboratory at Harvard to explore intersections between the arts and academics. We aim to enable new artistic and cultural opportunities at the University and in surrounding communities.

The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma performs annually for the Harvard/Cambridge community. In addition, Ensemble members work with Harvard students and faculty through performance, discussion and collaborative projects. Student engagement and musician presentations have been covered by Harvard publications.

This partnership is informing multicultural and multidisciplinary coursework at Harvard and developing models for cultural entrepreneurship that will influence educational and business practice in settings beyond the University. We also hope to act as a catalyst for partnerships with Cambridge- and Boston-area arts, cultural and educational institutions.

The Silk Road Project has been affiliated with Harvard since 2005. The Silk Road Ensemble has served as long-term artists in residence at both Harvard and Rhode Island School of Design.


“This partnership between the University and the Project will make it easier for Silk Road musicians and artists to collaborate with Harvard scholars, performers, and students, and is another example of the ways the arts are increasingly visible on campus and more present in teaching and learning."
- DIANA SORENSEN
Dean for the Arts and Humanities,
Harvard University