The world music ensemble founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs at the Auckland Arts Festival.

Silkroad Ensemble

Silkroad Ensemble Photo: Supplied

The Silkroad Ensemble is a group founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 1998. His vision was a group of musicians brought together from diverse cultures in an attempt to create “a new artistic idiom, a musical language founded in difference.”

The original inspiration was the Silk Road – the ancient network of trade routes from the east to the west – and the many musical cultures across Eurasia.

Nowadays, they expand their world to include influences from musics far beyond that area.

The group has a fluid and flexible membership and for this concert in Auckland, the ensemble consists of two of the co-artistic directors: bass player Jeffrey Beecher and percussionist Shane Shanahan, along with Cristina Pato on Galician bagpipes and piano, singer Nora Fischer, violist Mario Gotoh, tabla player Dandeep Das, Wu Tong – a player of Chinese musical instruments, and percussionist Mark Suter.


Cristina PATO, WU Tong: Fanfare for Gaita and Suona
TRAD Vietnamese arr Evan ZIPORYN: Uot Mi
TRAD Galician arr Cristina PATO: Muiñeras de Ourense e Pontesampaio
Maurice RAVEL: Kaddisch, from Two Hebrew Melodies
WU Tong, Sandeep DAS: Vairocana
Cristina PATO: Lamento
Edward PEREZ: Tanguillo
TRAD Galician arr Edward PEREZ: Joropo-Festejo-Muiñera de Chantada
Sandeep DAS: Tarang
John ZORN arr Shane SHANAHAN: Zavebe, from Book of Angels
WU Tong: Improvisation on a Chinese Thought
John ZORN arr Cristina PATO: Khabiel, from Book of Angels

Recorded by RNZ Concert in Auckland Town Hall, 14 March 2019
Sound engineer: Adrian Hollay, Producer: Tim Dodd