Silkroad Musicians

Representing a global array of cultures, Silk Road Ensemble musicians co-create art, performance, and ideas. The Grammy Award-winning Ensemble has been called “vibrant and virtuosic” by the Wall Street Journal, “one of the 21st century’s great ensembles” by the Vancouver Sun, and a “roving musical laboratory without walls” by the Boston Globe.

Made up of performers and composers from more than 20 countries, the Silk Road Ensemble was formed by Yo-Yo Ma in 2000. Since then, audiences and critics in over 30 countries throughout Asia, Europe, and North America have embraced these artists passionate about cross-cultural understanding and innovation. The group has recorded six albums. Their new album, Sing Me Home, was released in April 2016. The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, a documentary about Silkroad musicians directed by Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom), was released in June 2016.

Artists and Instruments



Siamak Aghaei, santur (Iran)

Edward Arroncello (USA)

Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, oud, bass (USA)

Shawn Conleybass (USA)

Gevorg Dabaghyan, duduk (Armenia)

Joel Fanpiano (USA)

Patrick Farrellaccordion (USA)

Khongorzul Ganbaatar, urtiin duu (Mongolia)

Mario Gotoh, viola (Japan, USA)

He Cui, sheng (China)

Hu Jianbing, sheng (China)

John Hadfield, percussion (USA)

Ben Haggartystorytelling (UK)

Rauf Islamov, kamancheh (Azerbaijan)

Siamak Jahangiry, ney (Iran)

Ji Hyun Kim, kayagum, vocals (Korea)

You-Young Kim, viola (Korea)

Balla Kouyate, balafon (Mali)

Li Hui, pipa (China)

Liu Lin, ruan, guitar (China)

Shaw Pong Liuviolin (USA)

Ali Asgar Mammadov, tar (Azerbaijan)

Max Mandel, viola (Canada)

Gulia Mashurova, harp (Kazakhstan)

Jessie Montgomery, violin (USA)

Edward Perez, bass (USA)

Alim Qasimov, mugham vocals (Azerbaijan)

Fargana Qasimova, mugham vocals (Azerbaijan)

Bassam Saba, oud, nay (Lebanon)

Michael Ward-Bergemanaccordion (USA)

Michi Wiancko, violin (USA)

Alastair Willisconductor (USA)

Yang Wei, pipa (China)

Betti Xiangerhu (China)

DaXun Zhangbass (China)

Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin, viola (Russia)

Evan Ziporyn, clarinet (USA)


Rabih Abou-Khalil (Lebanon)

Christopher Adler (USA)

Franghiz Ali-Zadeh (Azerbaijan)

Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (USA)

David Bruce (UK/USA)

Gabriela Lena Frank (USA)

Osvaldo Golijov (Argentina)

Vijay Iyer (USA)

Jia Daqun (China)

Jeeyoung Kim (Korea)

Glenn Kotche (USA)

Angel Lam (Hong Kong)

Alisher Latif-Zadeh (Tajikistan)

Edward Perez (USA)

Michael Ward-Bergeman (USA)

Lev ‘Ljova’ Zhurbin (Russia)

Evan Ziporyn (USA)


Commissioning new music is the foundation of our performances, recordings, and ongoing cross-cultural and artistic exchange. Our repertoire celebrates diverse musical traditions while promoting innovative collaborative encounters. New compositions and arrangements are developed organically by performers and in commissioning workshops with Silkroad musicians and composers.

Silkroad’s commissioning program has resulted in more than 80 new musical works from composers and arrangers from 22 countries, including China, Azerbaijan, Korea, Argentina, Japan, India, Lebanon, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Iran, Uzbekistan, Armenia, and the United States.

Silkroad Music

The Silk Road Ensemble’s music is contemporary and ancient, familiar and foreign, traditional and innovative, drawing on traditions from around the world to create a new musical language that reflects our 21st-century global society.

In every performance and recording, we hope to lead a listener from a well-known place to somewhere new. Whether our pieces are created individually or collaboratively, written or improvised, invented or passed on, music making with this group is a joyous process.