Fenway Forum and Residency at Harvard University

Fenway Forum

Photo by Jim Davis/Globe Staff

On October 4th, Yo-Yo Ma and the Silkroad Ensemble gave a performance at the Fenway Forum, an event hosted by HUBWeek, a weeklong series of events and experiences, and led by Harvard’s Michael Sandel, who has been described as “the most relevant living philosopher”. Panelists included outstanding figures such as Yo-Yo Ma himself or Arianna Huffington, President and Editor-in-Chief of Pulitzer Prize winner The Huffington Post.


Next, Cristina will once more join the Harvard Graduate School of Education in several activities as part of the ongoing Silkroad residency at Harvard University, including the events Harvard Arts in Allston (October 6th) and the Cultural Navigation Panel on October 5th, where four members of the Silk Road Ensemble will share both challenges and rewards of playing with an international group of musicians in a conversation with Steve Seidel, Faculty Director of Arts in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Eduacation, and the audience.

And speaking of education, Cristina’s latest article for her column enlazARTE for El Correo Gallego is out. Titled “A Arte de Escoitar” (The Art of Listening), the article is focused on the necessity for institutions to listen an support the needs of teachers. Here’s the link (Galician) →

enlazARTE: New Column by Cristina Pato for El Correo Gallego

El Correo Gallego - 21/09/2015

Cristina has started a new collaboration with Galician newspaper El Correo Gallego to pen a new column named enlazARTE, which will be published on a bimonthly basis.

As a reaction to current political decisions in Spain about the role of the arts in the public educational system, Cristina will explore the power of the integration of arts in education through educational initiatives around the world. Her expertise in the field includes her collaboration with Turnaround Arts Initiative of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, the GSE/Silkroad Passion Driven Learning-Harvard Summer Institute, and her Arts Transcending Borders residency at the College of the Holy Cross.

The first article was published on September 21st, for World Alzheimer’s Day. In it, Cristina discusses the benefits of music for Alzheimer’s patients. Here’s a link to the article (Galician) →

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble World Premiere

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble, the new documentary by Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville, was premiered on Sunday, September 14th at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film was received with a huge standing ovation.

Below you can find some pictures from the premiere, as well as a short clip from the movie.

UPDATE: The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble is slated for a Spring 2016 theatrical release, followed by a HBO premiere, and is already getting some great reviews. Here are some excerpts:

A first-rate music film capturing a restless desire to communicate beyond the boundaries of any single idiom, The Music of Strangers watches as Yo-Yo Ma, a giant in the world of Western classical music, puts Bach and Beethoven aside to spend time with his multicultural Silk Road Ensemble. (…) We meet Wu Man, master of the Chinese stringed instrument called the pipa; Damascus-born clarinetist Kinan Azmeh; Iranian exile Kayhan Kalhor, who plays the bowed kamancheh; and the ebullient bagpiper Cristina Pato, “the Jimi Hendrix of Galicia.”

The Hollywood Reporter

Music is a powerful medium with the ability to unite people from even the most disparate socio-political backgrounds, ideologies and countries. That’s the underlying message in 20 Feet from Stardom director Morgan Neville’s latest feature, The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, a documentary that examines the multi-generational, multi-ethnic musical supergroup he created that took shape in the aftermath of 9/11, and how their music and positive message continues to shape the world around them.


What makes “The Music of Strangers” so fun to watch, however, and which tempers the seriousness of its subjects, is the diverse range of performance footage at play. Some of it is archival, much of it is beautifully staged across multiple countries and environments. Neville is keenly aware of how to show the musicians’ kinetic energy onscreen, and he relies on this talent to keep the film consistently alive and moving.

Roger Ebert