The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma didn’t set out to become a musician. Rather, his prodigious talent as a child propelled him into a decades-long and celebrated musical career. By 2000, Ma was eager for new challenges; he wanted to stretch his creative muscles and forge cross-cultural connections. His solution was to form the Silk Road Ensemble, gathering musicians from around the world to share influences and ideas. With The Music of Strangers, Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom) delivers a vibrant portrait of artistic passion and sacrifice, combining performance footage, interviews, and archival materials to tell the stories of Ma and a number of Silk Road Ensemble members. We meet Cristina Pato, a formidable Galician bagpipe player; Kinan Azmeh, a Syrian clarinetist; Wu Man, a master of the pipa, a lute-like Chinese instrument; and Kayhan Kalhor, an Iranian fiddle virtuoso. Together, their fervent dedication to craft and collaboration shows the power of music as universal language and unifying force.  EM


Morgan Neville


Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers


Helen Kearns, Jason Zeldes


Graham Willoughby

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

96 minutes


Partially subtitled