In just a few months, cellist Yo-Yo Ma makes his long-awaited South African debut at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. On Saturday, 8 February at 7 pm, Mr Ma will perform Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello without interval; his visit to Cape Town is part of his global Bach Project, presented locally by Showtime Management.

In August 2018, Yo-Yo Ma began the Bach Project, a two-year journey to play Johann Sebastian Bach’s six suites for solo cello thirty-six times on six continents. Since the project began, Yo-Yo has performed this extraordinary music in iconic and surprising locations including the Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the Acropolis in Athens, the ancient Huaca Pucllana in Lima, the Sydney Opera House, and Millennium Park in Chicago.

The Bach Project is a journey motivated not only by Yo-Yo Ma’s six-decade relationship with this 300-year-old music but also by Bach’s ability to speak to our common humanity at a time when our civic conversation is so often focussed on division. ”We live in a world of boundless possibility, but we also face daunting challenges, even to our very survival. I believe that during times of stress, confusion, and insecurity, we should share sources that offer comfort, purpose, and meaning. Bach does that. When his music touches us, it reconnects us to our common humanity,” says Yo-Yo Ma.

Alongside each concert, Mr Ma and his team partner with artists and culture makers, cultural and community organizations, and leaders from across sectors to design conversations, collaborations, and performances. Together with the concerts, these “days of action” invite us all to think differently about the role of culture in society, exploring and celebrating all the ways that culture makes us stronger as individuals, as communities, as a society and as a planet. In Cape Town, as it does all over the world, the Bach Project will explore how culture helps us to find the truth, build trust, and act in service of one another. #CultureConnectsUs

Programme: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.
Bach’s six cello suites each unfold in six movements — 36 movements in all. Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007;
Suite No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1008; Suite No. 3 in C major, BWV 1009; Suite No. 4 in E flat major, BWV 1010;
Suite No. 5 in C minor, BWV 1011; Suite No. 6 in D major, BWV 1012

Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is a testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s social impact, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Mr Ma strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity. “We are all cultural beings,” he has said. “Let’s explore how culture connects us and can help to shape a better future.”

Yo-Yo Ma has taken the Bach Project across the globe — and early next year, he brings the Project’s mix of performance, conversation, and cultural action to Cape Town. Book now for the one-night-only concert by Yo-Yo Ma at Webtickets, HERE…

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