The cellist receives the award in recognition of his achievements as an artist, his international impact on the arts and for his role in enriching the global community


Yo-Yo Ma © Jason Bell

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma has been named the prestigious Praemium Imperiale laureate for music. The Praemium Imperiale is a global arts prize awarded annually by the Japan Art Association, with awards given for different disciplines.

Ma was acknowledged for his classical music achievements, as well as collaborations with musicians from other musical genres and traditions, including the  Silkroad Project. He receives 15 million Yen (c. £100,000). Previous laureates for music include Anne-Sophie Mutter, Riccardo Muti, Youssou N’Dour and Gidon Kremer.

The other laureates for 2021 are Sebastião Salgado for painting, James Turrell for sculpture and Glenn Murcutt for architecture.

Read: Competitions, Awards and Appointments: September 2021

Read: Augustin Hadelich and Pablo Ferrández win Opus Classic awards

Watch: Dvořák at 180: Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma perform Humoresque