Film: The Music of Strangers


The Grammy-nominated documentary The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, follows members of the Ensemble as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution.

Blending performance footage, personal interviews, and archival film, Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the personal journeys of a small group of Silk Road Ensemble mainstays — Kinan Azmeh (Syria), Kayhan Kalhor (Iran), Yo-Yo Ma (France/United States), Wu Man (China), and Cristina Pato (Spain) — to chronicle passion, talent, and sacrifice. Through these moving individual stories, the filmmakers paint a vivid portrait of a bold musical experiment and a global search for the ties that bind.

Available now on DVD (U.S. only).

Teachers: download the curriculum guide designed to help you bring The Music of Strangers into your classrooms, explore stories depicted in the film, and highlight culture’s power to connect. Educational licenses for the film can be purchased here.


The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble is presented by The Silk Road Project (Silkroad), in association with Participant Media, The Orchard, and HBO. Silkroad acknowledges Hyosung Corporation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, Pershing Square Foundation, the Ford Foundation JustFilms, The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Union Square Fund, and its other institutional partners for their generous support of activities that promote innovation, education, and cross-cultural understanding through the arts.