In Rebuke to Trump, Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach at US-Mexico Border

Iconic cellist's "Bach Project" focuses on connections between cultures

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing Bach next to the Rio Grande in Laredo, Texas on Saturday, April, 13, 2019. (Photo screengrab credit: Texas Public Radio)
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performing Bach next to the Rio Grande in Laredo, Texas on Saturday, April, 13, 2019. (Photo screengrab credit: Texas Public Radio)
By Reed Richardson / April 14, 2019 10:39 am

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World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma lent his musical talents to two border cities’ mutual appreciation on Sunday and sent a not-so-subtle message to President Trump in the process.

Perched on a platform next to the Rio Grande in the shadow of the international bridge that connects, Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Ma played parts of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello.” His choice was no coincidence, as the musician has been traveling the world as part of his “Bach Project,” which aims to raise awareness of the connections between different peoples and cultures.

“As you all know, as you did and do and will do, in culture, we build bridges, not walls,” Ma said, taking a verbal jab at President Trump’s attempts at building massive walls along the U.S.-Mexico border. After his performance, the artist, referring to the bridge that connects the two cities, said:. “I’ve lived my life at the borders. Between cultures. Between disciplines. Between musics. Between generations.”

Watch part of Ma’s performance below.

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