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Yo-Yo Ma is mesmerizing with Minnesota Orchestra / Minneapolis Star Tribune

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Tuesday evening's concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis provided a sharp reminder, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma making his first Minnesota Orchestra appearance in 15 years. Now in his 60s, Ma retains a fresh, boyish demeanor. He unassumingly wended his way to his soloist seat on the stage, swapping small talk with conductor Osmo Vänskä along the way. The concert's centerpiece was Haydn's Cello Concerto in C, a piece that can quickly turn pedestrian in the hands of an average player. But Ma's performance was mesmerizing. He applied a formidable range of touch and nuance to the solo part, with scarcely a bar of music where he didn't have some subtle point to make. The playing was technically brilliant, though never crudely self-advertising.

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