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Yo-Yo Ma returns to the Mobile Symphony Orchestra for upcoming season

Mobile Symphony Orchestra

Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma is coming back to Mobile to play with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra during the 2023-2024 season.

The Mobile Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1996 when the Mobile Symphony realized that a local orchestra was needed. Scott Speck, the music director of the Mobile Symphony said the formation of the orchestra helped improve the Mobile music space.

“By forming an orchestra, we immediately were able to bring more musicians to the area, many of whom could then become teachers for students and create a real education program in the city of Mobile,” he said.

Ma first played in the Mobile Symphony Orchestra in 2005 when the orchestra was merely seven years old. He will play the cello concerto by Edward Elgar at the Gala Concert, the symphony’s most popular and most anticipated event of the season.

“He is an absolutely phenomenal musician who imbues every note he plays with, with passion and love, not only for the music, but a love for collaborating with his fellow musicians,” Speck said.

Ma will perform his one-time only show with the orchestra on February 29, 2024 at 7:30 p.m.; the rest of the season for the orchestra will have seven other shows that will be played for two days.

The opening show of the season, “Heroes and Villains” features music from various movie scores including “Star Wars,” “King Kong,” “The Incredibles” and more.

Speck said that every year the orchestra thinks about songs that will be enthralling to both the audience and orchestra members.

“Every year we go through this process where we think, ‘Okay, what music can we find that will especially thrill our audience, but which our orchestra also really wants to play,’” he said. “We take into consideration things that our own musicians are excited to play because we know then they're going to be performing with extra passion. At the same time, we're asking ourselves, ‘what is it that we think this particular audience is really going to love?’”

All performances will be held in Sanger Theater in Downtown Mobile. Purchase tickets here.

Saylor Collum is a student intern in the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. She majors in Public Relations and English at the University of Alabama. She has a love for writing and storytelling. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, attending concerts and being involved in her church.

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