Sun Valley Music Festival Announces 2024 Gala Concert: An Evening with Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma joins Music Director Alasdair Neale and the Sun Valley Music Festival Orchestra for Dvořák’s Cello Concerto.

Sun Valley, Idaho, Feb. 14, 2024 — The Sun Valley Music Festival is thrilled to announce that in celebration of its 40th anniversary, world-renowned cellist and musical ambassador Yo-Yo Ma will be the featured guest artist of the 2024 Gala. Scheduled for Lunes, Aug. 5, his appearance at the Festival’s only fundraising concert will provide an unforgettable evening of music. The performance will be the Sun Valley debut of the celebrated cellist, who is one of the most acclaimed artists of our time and whose name epitomizes classical music. He will perform Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B Minor with Music Director Alasdair Neale leading the world-class Sun Valley Music Festival Orchestra.  


An Evening with Yo-Yo Ma 

The performance takes place at 6:30 p.m. in the beautiful outdoor setting of the Sun Valley Pavilion. Audience members can experience Ma’s unparalleled artistry either inside the 1,600-seat Pavilion or from the lawn, which features a state-of-the-art sound system and newly enlarged LED screen. All $300+ ticket holders are invited to a 5 p.m. pre-concert cocktail reception at the Sun Valley Lodge Terrace, and all Sponsor Package ticket holders are also invited to an 8 p.m. post-concert dinner at the Grill at Knob Hill, featuring a special performance by Music Festival musicians. Ticket sales for the Gala Concert support the Sun Valley Music Festival and help keep its concerts and education programs free for everyone.  

“It’s such a pleasure to welcome the legendary Yo-Yo Ma to Sun Valley,” said Neale, who will conduct the Dvořák, a staple of the repertoire and one of the most frequently performed cello concertos. “Yo-Yo is one of those rare classical artists who has become a household name, not just here in the U.S. but around the world. As someone who has been in awe of his unique gifts as a musician and human being, I can say that making music with him at our Gala Concert will be one of the highlights of my career.” 

“As musicians, we transcend technique in order to seek out the truths in our world in a way that gives meaning and sustenance to individuals and communities,” said Ma, whose multi-faceted 60-year career is a testament to the power of culture to generate trust and understanding. “That’s art for life’s sake.” 

Whether performing new or familiar works for cello, bringing communities together to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging in unexpected musical forms, Ma strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity. His discography includes more than 120 albums — including 19 GRAMMYⓇ Award-winning albums and 30 nominations — ranging from iconic renditions of the Western classical canon to recordings that defy categorization. He has recorded Dvořák’s cello concerto three times. 


Cómo asistir 

Ticket prices range from $1,250 to $100. The $1,250 Sponsor Package includes VIP parking, premium reserved concert seats, a pre-concert cocktail reception, and a seated post-concert dinner at the Grill at Knob Hill featuring a performance by Festival musicians. Tickets at the $600 and $300 levels include the pre-concert cocktail reception and reserved preferred seating in the Pavilion. Reserved Pavilion seats at $125 and $100 are also available. General admission lawn tickets are available for $100. The concert will be broadcast on the Pavilion’s state-of-the-art big screen and sound system which provide an exciting concert experience from anywhere on the lawn. Lawn tickets will be available online only. 

Gala sales open to the public on Abril 17, at 9 a.m. Tickets are available online at or by calling 208.622.5607. Sponsor Package tickets are available only by phone, while lawn tickets are available only online. Annual Fund donors of $1,250 and above and Encore Society members will have the opportunity to purchase Gala tickets early; further information will be provided via email. 


Sun Valley Music Festival Presents: An Evening with Yo-Yo Ma 

  • Lunes, Aug. 5, 2024 
  • Sun Valley Pavilion (300 Dollar Rd., Sun Valley, ID)  
  • Concert starts at 6:30 p.m. 
  • Gates open at 5 p.m. for Pavilion and lawn seating, and for the pre-concert reception.  
  • Visit for concert details.   


About Yo-Yo Ma 

Yo-Yo Ma’s multi-faceted career is testament to his belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works for cello, bringing communities together to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Yo-Yo strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity. 

Most recently, Yo-Yo began Our Common Nature, a cultural journey to celebrate the ways that nature can reunite us in pursuit of a shared future. Our Common Nature follows the Bach Project, a 36-community, six-continent tour of J.S. Bach’s cello suites paired with local cultural programming. Both endeavors reflect Yo-Yo’s lifelong commitment to stretching the boundaries of genre and tradition to understand how music helps us to imagine and build a stronger society. 

Yo-Yo is an advocate for a future guided by humanity, trust, and understanding. Among his many roles, Yo-Yo is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, the first artist ever appointed to the World Economic Forum’s board of trustees, a member of the board of Nia Tero, the US-based nonprofit working in solidarity with Indigenous peoples and movements worldwide, and the founder of the global music collective Silkroad. 

His discography of more than 120 albums (including 19 Grammy Award winners) ranges from iconic renditions of the Western classical canon to recordings that defy categorization, such as “Hush” with Bobby McFerrin and the “Goat Rodeo Sessions” with Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer, and Chris Thile. Yo-Yo’s recent releases include “Six Evolutions,” his third recording of Bach’s cello suites, and “Songs of Comfort and Hope,” created and recorded with pianist Kathryn Stott in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yo-Yo’s latest album, “Beethoven for Three: Symphony No. 6 and Op. 1, No. 3,” is the second in a new series of Beethoven recordings with pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos. 

Yo-Yo was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at age four and three years later moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies at the Juilliard School before pursuing a liberal arts education at Harvard. He has received numerous awards, including the Avery Fisher Prize (1978), the National Medal of the Arts (2001), the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2010), Kennedy Center Honors (2011), the Polar Music Prize (2012), and the Birgit Nilsson Prize (2022). He has performed for nine American presidents, most recently on the occasion of President Biden’s inauguration.   

Yo-Yo and his wife have two children. He plays three instruments: a 2003 instrument made by Moes & Moes, a 1733 Montagnana cello from Venice, and the 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius.  


About the Sun Valley Music Festival 

The Sun Valley Music Festival’s mission is to enrich, inspire, and instill in our community a lifelong love of classical music through extraordinary free concerts and education programs. Festival programs provide opportunities for people from all walks of life to listen, learn, and play. Now in its 40th year, it is the largest privately supported, free-admission classical music festival in the United States.    

Over 100 world-class musicians from North America’s most distinguished orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, and Houston Symphony, comprise the Festival Orchestra. Summer Season concerts are held in Julio and Agosto at the spectacular R.E. Holding Sun Valley Pavilion, in the mountain resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho. Winter Season concerts are held in Febrero or Marzo at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in nearby Ketchum, Idaho, which is adjacent to Bald Mountain, Sun Valley Resort’s primary ski area. Internationally-renowned guest artists such as Gautier Capuçon, Midori, Emanuel Ax, Audra McDonald, Joshua Bell, Joyce Yang, Yefim Bronfman, Kristin Chenoweth, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet have performed with the Festival.   

Through its Music Institute, the Festival strives to introduce every Wood River Valley student to the joys of classical music, to inspire the next generation of music lovers. Its year-round and summer programs provide tuition-free instruction for string, piano, and voice students of all skill levels — from elementary through high school — that goes beyond the fundamentals and embraces the entire musician.