Yo-Yo Ma’s Decision to Play the Cello: A “Compromise” and an “Accident”

April 25, 2016  • Aspen Institute Radio

This past week, Aspen Institute Radio celebrated art and culture with discussions about the art of playwriting, the art of African-American History, and a chat with Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Aspen Institute Radio, our two-hour radio show, airs every Saturday and Sunday on SiriusXM Insight (channel 121). Each episode dives into the topics that inform the world around us. Here in our weekly Listen Longer posts, we’ll recap each episode and show where you can read, watch, and listen to more. Don’t have SiriusXM? Try it for free for a month here.

Art in a Post-Conflict Society

How does art function in a post-conflict society? What power does art have to transform civilizations and heal nations and their people? Discussing these topics are Tom Freston, former CEO of Viacom and the man who brought us MTV; Saad Mohseini, CEO of MOBY Group, a media company in Afghanistan; and Phlouen Prim, executive director of Cambodia Living Arts. The moderator is Cynthia Schneider, former ambassador to the Netherlands, professor at Georgetown University, and a Brookings fellow.

Two Souls, Two Thoughts: The Art of African-American History

“One ever feels his twoness — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” — W. E. B. Du Bois

A collaboration between the Aspen Institute Arts Program and the Park Avenue Armory, “Two Souls, Two Thoughts” gathered artists, writers, and cultural commentators to share their unique, ongoing, and evolving engagements with African-American history. Moderated by writer and podcast host Stacia Brown, participants include vocalist and composer Imani Uzuri, multi-media artist Jasmine Murrell, novelist and playwright Darryl Pinckney, and writer Carl Hancock Rux.

Fireside Chat: The Art of Playwriting — Where Ideas Come to Life on Stage

An exciting panel discussion between award-winning playwright Theresa Rebeck, Theater Masters Artistic Director Julia Hansen, Primary Stages Artistic Director Andrew Leynse, Tony-Award winning actor and producer Robert LuPone and the emerging voices of the American Theater of tomorrow: playwrights from the top MFA programs in the country.

Art for Life’s Sake: In Conversation with Yo-Yo Ma

World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, 2013 Harman-Eisner artist in residence, discusses his far-reaching vision for how artists can practice their citizenship, as individuals and through institutions — and how the arts fulfill a fundamental human need by forging and strengthening community.