Lauren A. Terrazas / Texas Public Radio
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought his Bach project to sister cities Laredo (Texas) and Nuevo Laredo (Mexico) on Saturday. In Laredo's "Day of Action" performances were held in both cities to celebrate the relationship between the two communities.
Ma played the opening notes of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Suite No. 1 for an unaccompanied cello" in a park next to the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, one of the intersections that connects the cities of the US and Mexico.
The Laredo performance took place on a raised stage in front of an audience of officials and spectators. Concerns about possible rainfall vanished when Ma started playing in the morning sun.
It was part of his Bach project that uses the composer's 300-year-old music to explore the links between cultures. The project has taken him all over the world. On Friday he was taken to Laurie Auditorium at Trinity University in San Antonio, and on Saturday he was taken to Laredo, just a few meters from the Rio Grande.
"As you all know, do and do this too." In culture, we build bridges, not walls, "he said, pointing to the bridge to his right after his introduction." I lived my life on the borders. Between cultures. Between disciplines. Between music. Between Generations. "
Mateo Bailey, 16, lives in San Antonio, he grew up in El Paso, plays the cello, and is the son of Grammy-winning cellist Zuill Bailey.
He felt that Ma & # 39; s performance had a special meaning "because this event is at the limit. And I am half Mexican and half American … and for him, to connect cello with what is happening in the world, it's like a cultural bridge that's just been built, and it's amazing. "
Betty DeLeon praised the cellist for his visit." It speaks of him. What a wonderful person, to take his time and come to our little town to share the meaning of the culture. On the border. It is amazing. It is a privilege to be a part of it. "
Pete Saenz, mayor of Laredo, said that despite the river and despite the bridge that extends over them, the border is a municipality.
" And though We do not perceive people as different, "he said," where the limit is unique in that it is a single organism. I have always said that we are interdependent and interconnected. We survived because the border survives, especially here in the border area. "
This" day of action "took place at the Plaza Juarez in Nuevo Laredo, just a few blocks from the international intersection and its overriding theme was recognition of the links between the two two cities that consider themselves to be a community.
Ma was originally supposed to play on the actual bridge, which was to be closed for a short while, and the planned closure would have been a collaboration between civil servants and residents on both sides of the border Pedestrian delays would have caused the performance convinced officials to move the scene in the Tres Laredos Park next to the bridge.
The famous cellist studied and plays the music of the German composer for six decades in 2018 Ma made on a two-year journey to Bach's six suites for violoncello at 36 locations around the world He believed that music had the ability to connect cultures and people from all walks of life. He said that was what motivated him to start the project.