Annan appoints cellist YoYo Ma as UN peace messenger for his music

As part of worldwide celebrations today marking International Day of Peace, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma as a UN Messenger of Peace, commending him for his dedication to bridging cultural differences between nations and for spreading a message of harmony through his music.The Secretary-General marked the day by ringing the Peace Bell at UN Headquarters in New York and making a speech on the occasion, at which Mr. Ma played a piece for solo cello by Turkish composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun.“Over the course of your extraordinary musical career, you have demonstrated time and again your dedication to overcoming cultural differences and bridging gaps between nations and generations,” Mr. Annan said when he proposed the appointment of the multi-award winning classical musician.“Through your music, the message of peace can spread far and wide and influence people around the world to focus on harmony and human dignity.” Mr. Ma joins nine other Messengers of Peace, some of whom were also at today’s ceremony in New York. All were chosen for their widely recognized talents in the field of arts, literature, music and sports who have agreed to help focus worldwide attention on the work of the UN.“I am honoured to join the artists, educators and humanitarians who strive in their work to celebrate and communicate the universal values at the heart of the United Nations,” the cellist said in accepting the title.Mr. Ma is an exclusive Sony Classical artist, and his discography of over 75 albums includes more than 15 Grammy Award winners and reflects his wide-ranging interests. He has made several successful recordings that defy categorization, among them two Grammy-winning tributes to the music of Brazil, and he also established the Silk Road Project to promote the study of the cultural, artistic and intellectual traditions along the ancient trade route that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. read more

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