Aural Argument? Cellist Yo-Yo Ma Plays Supreme Court

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 06:26 PM

This spring, cellist Yo-Yo Ma will receive the 2013 Vilcek Prize. This spring, cellist Yo-Yo Ma will receive the 2013 Vilcek Prize. (Michael O’Neill/courtesy of the artist)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Yo-Yo Ma has played his 300-year-old cello for eight of the nine Supreme Court justices.

Ma entertained Wednesday at the court's annual spring musical concert in an ornate conference room beneath portraits of Chief Justices Warren Burger and William Rehnquist.

Ma played pieces by Bach and John Williams, as well as a Catalan folk song that he said was a favorite of famed Spanish cellist Pablo Casals. Ma performed on a 1712 Davidoff Stradivarius cello.

The current chief justice and Ma were classmates at Harvard in the 1970s. Chief Justice John Roberts jokingly said they had much in common, including that neither took Music 101 in college.

Clarence Thomas was the only justice absent.

 

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