Talk:Yo-Yo Ma

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  • One of the marks of a great teacher lies not only in an ability to impart knowledge but also in knowing when to encourage a student to go off on his own. I remember vividly the day after a New York recital I played when I was fifteen: — I came to a lesson and Mr. Rose said to me, "You played very well but I would like you to take the Fourth Sonata of Beethoven and figure it out for yourself." The Beethoven Sonata was an unfamiliar piece and, being a late work, is written very densely. The twists and turns of the writing are a real challenge to the imagination. It took many years before I was able to make sense of it. But it was the beginning of my conscious search for independence and individuality. It takes a great teacher to grant that kind of permission and encouragement.