Inspired by the cultural traditions of the historical Silk Road, the Silk Road Project is a catalyst promoting innovation and learning through the arts. Our vision is to connect the world’s neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences around the globe.
An internationally minded nonprofit arts, cultural and educational organization, the Silk Road Project takes inspiration from the historical Silk Road trading route as a modern metaphor for multicultural and interdisciplinary exchange. Yo-Yo Ma founded the Project in 1998 to investigate music as a means of communication and a vehicle for the migration of ideas. Under his artistic direction, the Silk Road Project works through the arts in education to inspire passion-driven learning.
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. Developing new music is a central undertaking of the Project, which has been involved in commissioning and performing nearly 70 new musical and multimedia works from composers and arrangers around the world.
The Silk Road Ensemble gathers performers and composers from more than 20 countries to develop and present new music that springs from contemporary global crossroads.
The group has performed to critical acclaim throughout Asia, Europe and North America, and has recorded five albums; 'Off the Map,' its most recent, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2011.