Since Yo-Yo Ma’s departure, my co-artistic directors and I have really reflected on the group’s history. We realised that one of the most important components of Yo-Yo’s vision was that initial assembly of 50 or so musicians at Tanglewood in Boston in 1998, all from countries associated with the historical Silk Road.

Silkroad Ensemble Silkroad Ensemble. Photo © Liz Linder

That project was a risk. So in terms of finding our identity in his wake, we very much realised that we wanted to continue that spirit of scouting and of creating this kind of band feeling that has been really successful for us – where we tour with a familiar group of people but at the same time reflect more and more communities around the world.

We are thrilled to be doing an Australian tour and we haven’t performed much of the program we’re bringing. Our incredible bag piper, Cristina Pato, will be playing pieces that show off how she’s been fusing the Spanish tradition with jazz, while we’re doing arrangements of a suite of melodies by John Zorn called Book of Angels. A lot of the program is actually improvisatory but there are...

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