Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Yo-Yo Ma's Bach Project Comes to Jakarta

Jayanty Nada Shofa
November 1, 2019 | 7:33 am
The men behind the Yo-Yo Ma concert, from left, Bernard Grover, general manager of Jakarta International Theater, Prajna Murdaya and Harmoko Aguswan, founding partners of Shoemaker Studios. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)
The men behind the Yo-Yo Ma concert, from left, Bernard Grover, general manager of Jakarta International Theater, Prajna Murdaya and Harmoko Aguswan, founding partners of Shoemaker Studios. (JG Photo/Jayanty Nada Shofa)

Jakarta. Anticipation is building up for Yo-Yo Ma's first-ever concert in Indonesia on Dec. 6. The superstar cellist, who has released 100 albums and won 19 Grammy Awards, will perform Bach's Six Cello Suites in his inimitable style at the Jakarta International Theater.

Promoters Shoemaker Studios and Go!Impact held a press conference to announce the concert at the glitzy new theater, located in the Jakarta International Expo complex in Kemayoran, East Jakarta.

Great Acoustics for a Great Artist

A musician of Yo-Yo Ma's caliber needs a concert hall with great acoustics to fully express his talents. This is where Jakarta International Theater's new Meyer Constellation System comes in.


"The Meyer Constellation System allows the artist to have an untouched and pure performance with its passive amplification. This is perfect for Yo-Yo Ma... [since] the sounds will stay true to its original acoustics, the music can directly tap into the audience's hearts," Prajna Murdaya and Harmoko Aguswan from Shoemaker Studios said.

The theater's general manager, Bernard Grover, said the new venue offers the largest concert stage in Indonesia and sophisticated audio technology with a whopping 280 speakers.

Harmoko compared the theater's acoustics to a cathedral's, able to project complicated sounds in great detail into the audience's ears.

The theater's three-tier auditorium and 2,500 unrestricted-view seats will make sure plenty of Indonesians get a chance to witness Yo-Yo Ma's genius. 

The Bach Project

Yo-Yo Ma is embarking on a cultural mission with his Bach Project. A video played at the press conference shows the musician playing his cello to wide-smiling people from across the globe.

The clip, ending with the hashtag #cultureconnectsus, embodies his mission of using music to break through alarming social gaps.

Indonesia is the 25th stop for Yo-Yo Ma's Bach Project. The artist said he decided to come to Indonesia after reading about the performance of Javanese dancers and gamelan players at the Paris Convention Center back in the 1880s.

"Bach's music is as special as the gamelan. Both share human creations that belong to all of us," Yo-Yo Ma said. 

As part of the project, the concert will be followed by a collaborative event dubbed "A Day of Action" on Dec. 7. As Yo-Yo Ma plays his cello, invited participants will try their hands on making batik.

"We will be exploring our culture and learn one of the ways to create a sustainable creative economy," Harmoko said.

Inspiring Yo-Yo Ma

"We hope bringing Yo-Yo Ma to Indonesia will persuade more local and international artists to come here and perform at the Jakarta International Theater," Prajna said.

The founding partner of Shoemaker Studios also hopes that Yo-Yo Ma's indomitable spirit will inspire Indonesian musicians to imitate the goal of his Bach Project by practicing music to celebrate cultural, social, religious and language differences.

Tickets for Yo-Yo Ma's concert go on sale on Oct. 31. Prices start from Rp 715,000. BCA credit cardholders will get 20 percent off all ticket purchases.

For more information on tickets, visit

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