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Kojiro Umezaki narrates

© WILL KRACHER

Multimedia Performances
The Silk Road Ensemble develops multimedia performances that integrate music, narrative, images and animation. The Ensemble created Blue and White, a work tracing the migration of blue-and-white porcelain throughout the world, during residencies at the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum Rietberg in Zurich, Switzerland.


Sandeep Das and Yo-Yo Ma in a Silk Road Ensemble performance in China

Sandeep Das and Yo-Yo Ma in a Silk Road Ensemble performance in China

© ANDREW WONG

Program Overview

The Silk Road Project is an internationally minded nonprofit arts, cultural and educational organization that promotes innovation and learning through the arts. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded the Project in 1998 with a vision of connecting the world's neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences around the globe. The Project takes inspiration from the historical Silk Road trading routes, employing 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 and Executive Director Laura Freid, the Silk Road Project presents performances by the acclaimed Silk Road Ensemble, engages in 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 integration approach, inspires students and educators to make connections across all areas of their lives and studies. 

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

The Silk Road Project is affiliated with Harvard University, where the Project is acting as a working laboratory to explore intersections between the arts and academics. In addition, the Project holds short-term residencies in museums and universities.

From October 2008 through September 2010, the Silk Road Project celebrated its 10th anniversary with performance by the Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma across three continents.


“We all feel we’re better musicians as a result of the Silk Road Project. We were taken to musical areas we didn’t know well, and have widened our own musical worlds. We have more tools with which to express ourselves. Most importantly, I feel more human, more connected to others.”

- YO-YO MA