Exclusive Preview: Yo-Yo Ma’s New Audible Project ‘Beginner’s Mind’

By Strings Staff

In this exclusive preview provided to Strings magazine, Yo-Yo Ma describes the moment when, as a 16-year-old visiting the Marlboro Music Festival for the first time in the summer of 1972, “I began to glimpse a life that I might call my own.” He found, he says, “a place where dialogue was primary, and a place where music could be tool for exploration and expression.” He goes on to discuss the beginnings of his collaboration with Emmanuel Ax and forming their interpretation of musical dialogue.


The preview is part of an Audible original project entitled “Beginner’s Mind,” a 92-minute audio recording which premieres Thursday, April 8 and is free for listeners in the United States. The project is part of Audible’s Words + Music initiative.

Beginner’s Mind continues Ma’s passionate exploration of culture’s role in helping us to imagine and build a better future, asking each of us “to strip away preconceptions and reclaim a beginner’s mind… one open to new questions, new connections, new explorations, and unexpected answers.” In the project Ma recollects four stories of beginnings, shedding light on his own past and how he continues to find endless possibility in human curiosity, creativity, and collaboration.