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Detroit Symphony Orchestra Presents Yo-Yo Ma with Its Highest Achievement Award


Prior to a sold-out concert by Yo-Yo Ma and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra last night, the renowned cellist was presented with the Orchestra’s “Changing Lives through Music” Highest Achievement Award. The award is bestowed to individuals in the field of music who provide extraordinary and exemplary leadership, sharing their artistry and knowledge with future generations, and serving as an inspiration to the world on behalf of music.

“Through his performances, groundbreaking musical projects and innovative educational advocacy, Yo-Yo Ma has had a profound impact on the people of Michigan,” said Anne Parsons, President and Executive Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. “This award recognizes and thanks him for the visionary role he plays as a musical ambassador, and for his generosity of spirit.”

The award was presented to Ma by DSO Music Director Designate Leonard Slatkin, American Honda Vice President Dick Szamborski, and Honda’s ASIMO humanoid robot. ASIMO, which stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, debuted its ability to conduct immediately preceding the award presentation when it led the orchestra in a short work called “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha by Mitch Leigh.

“Honda shares a passion with the DSO for youth education and we’re so pleased to be a part of recognizing Yo-Yo Ma for his dedication to providing children with opportunities to develop their musical abilities,” said Gary Kessler, Senior Vice President of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Honda is proud of its affiliation with the DSO and would like to welcome others to join us in the nurturing and promotion of the DSO’s music education programs.”

More information on The Power of Dreams Music Education Fund, including how to participate, can be found online at On Thursday, May 14, video of ASIMO conducting the DSO will be available to be viewed at


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