a portrait of the world-famous musician, Yo-Yo Ma, holding a cello
Aug 25, 2023
Flathead Beacon

FVCC Announces Cellist Yo-Yo Ma to Perform at Wachholz College Center in 2024

By Mike Kordenbrock

Flathead Valley Community College’s Wachholz College Center announced Thursday morning that world-famous virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma will perform at the college center in August 2024.

The center believes this will be the cellist’s first performance in Montana since 2004, when he played with the Great Falls Symphony.

“I am thrilled to return to Montana and share my music with the people of this beautiful state once again,” Ma said in a press release from the Wachholz Center. “Music has the power to transcend boundaries and bring communities together, and I look forward to creating a magical musical experience in the new Wachholz College Center.”

As for Ma’s performance, Matt Laughlin, the director of the college center, called the upcoming performance “a rare opportunity to witness the artistry of Yo-Yo Ma right here in Montana.”

Laughlin went on to say that Ma’s “return after such a long hiatus is an extraordinary moment for the state’s music scene, and we are honored that this performance will take place at the Wachholz College Center in Kalispell.”

The Yo-Yo Ma concert announcement comes just four months after the college center’s McClaren Hall hosted a Glacier Symphony performance with the virtuoso violinist Midori. Midori played in front of a packed house, and the Wachholz College Center is encouraging people to book their tickets early for the Yo-Yo Ma concert due to anticipated high demand.

Ma’s performance is planned for Aug. 3 at 7:30 p.m. Sales for the performance will open up on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023 at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the college center’s ticket office at 406-756-1400.

Born to Chinese parents living in Paris in 1955, Ma began studying cello at the age of 4 with his father, and went on to study at Juillard School and Harvard University. In his lifetime he has been awarded multiple Grammy Awards, the 1978 Avery Fisher Prize, the 2001 National Medal of the Arts, the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom, 2011 Kennedy Center Honors, the 2012 Polar Music Prize, and the 2022 Birgit Nilsson Prize.

Ma’s most recent project is “Our Common Nature,” which the New York Times described as “an internationally broad and searching initiative that explores ways in which we can heal, and enrich, our relationship with the world around us.” The project has, in part, involved pop-up concerts in natural settings across the United States.

“Aside from being the most famous cellist alive, he is a musician of immense conscience, a wholeheartedly earnest presence who tends to bring out the best in whatever company he is in, who soothes in moments of national mourning or global isolation,” the Times wrote of Ma.

Ma is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, the first artist appointed to the World Economic Forum’s board of trustees, a member of the board of Nia Tero, a nonprofit in the U.S. that works in solidarity with indigenous peoples and movements worldwide, and the founder of the global music collective Silkroad, according to biographical information included in the concert announcement press release. His most recent album is “Beethoven for Three: Symphony No. 6 and Op. 1, No. 3,” which is the second of a series of new Beethoven recordings with pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos.