5. June 2024

Yo-Yo Ma to perform with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and in a duo recital with pianist Kathryn Stott

In October, American cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Harpa Concert Hall and he will play a duo concert in Eldborg with British pianist Kathryn Stott. Yo-Yo Ma is one of the world's most renowned living musicians, and his appearance is a significant event in Icelandic music. Over his long and illustrious career, he has recorded over 90 albums and won 19 Grammy Awards. In addition to regularly performing in some of the world's most famous concert halls and with outstanding orchestras, he has played at major events such as U.S. presidential inaugurations and the Olympic Games opening ceremonies. The visit of this world-famous cellist is part of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra's 75th-anniversary program, and he will perform Edward Elgar's magnificent Cello Concerto with the orchestra.

Visiting Iceland has been a lifelong dream. Iceland has so much wisdom and leadership to offer the world and I can't wait to make music with its wonderful musicians and with my dear friend, Kathryn Stott." - Yo-Yo Ma

I have dreamt of coming to Iceland for as long as I can remember, so to say I'm excited is an understatement. I look forward to not only experiencing your magnificent natural landscape, but also to step foot into your cultural one. I can't wait to be inspired by Harpa as part of this final tour with my dear colleague of 40 years, Yo-Yo Ma.” - Kathryn Stott

The anticipation is immense. We have long dreamed of collaborating with this exceptional artist, and now that dream is finally coming true. Yo-Yo Ma is one of the most famous cellists in history and a great idealist who believes in the power of music and culture to foster trust and understanding. He is very interested in having a meaningful dialogue and collaboration with Icelandic artists and others during his visit in October. This will be a true celebration." - Lára Sóley Jóhannsdóttir, Managing Director ISO.


Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 in Paris to Chinese parents. He began studying the cello at the age of four and moved to New York with his family as a child. He studied music at Juilliard and also completed a degree in anthropology from Harvard University. Yo-Yo Ma has received various accolades for his work, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which he received in 2010. For decades, he has used music in the pursuit of peace and cooperation and has been one of the United Nations' peace ambassadors since 2006.

Kathryn Stott studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music in London which led her to the Leeds International Piano Competition. She enjoys working as a curator and director and was the Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Stott's passion for inspiring young musicians is nurtured as part of her teaching position at the Academy of Music in Oslo. Several composers including Graham Fitkin have written music just for her.

Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott have collaborated successfully for many years, performing together in numerous concerts and recording award-winning albums. Their duo concert is a part of their ongoing European tour, which includes performances at the Barbican Centre, Konserthuset Stockholm, Philharmonie Berlin, Herkulessal Munich, and Philharmonie de Paris. Past performances have taken them to the world's leading concert halls, such as Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles and Carnegie Hall in New York.

Yo-Yo Ma's concert with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra will take place on Thursday, October 24, and his duo concert with Kathryn Stott will be on Saturday, October 26. Both concerts will be held in Eldborg at Harpa Concert Hall. Pre-sale for subscribers of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra begins June 13, and general ticket sales starts on June 19 at and at Harpa's box office.