Headlines:February 2006

Mike Lawson • Archives • October 19, 2006

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Cellist Yo-Yo Ma will soon become a U.N. peace envoy. Kofi Annan recently met Ma, considered by many to be the world’s greatest living cellist, and confirmed to reporters that “Yes, he will be a peace envoy.” Ma, 50, a professional musician since the age of 5, was born in Paris and came to study in New York as a child prodigy. He graduated from Harvard in 1976 and is known for his interpretations of Bach and Beethoven and his ability to switch to lighter music, including bluegrass and pop.

Individual U.N. agencies for children, refugees, development, population and the environment have appointed their own goodwill ambassadors, such as Nobel laureate author Nadine Gordimer for the U.N. Development
Program or actress Angelina Jolie for the refugee agency. Ma will join a list of personalities compiled by Annan and called “messengers of peace.” They include environmentalist Jane Goodall, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, tennis star Vijay Amritraj, Italian writer and journalist Anna Cataldi, actor Michael Douglas, singer-composer Enrico Macias, basketball player Earvin “Magic” Johnson, jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, and Nobel laureate writer Elie Weisel.

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