U.S. President Barack Obama saluted Yo-Yo Ma at the White House on Tuesday, February 15 when he bestowed a Medal of Freedom on the revered musician. The President joked about the concert cellist's Grammy Awards success and suggested he was among the most joyful people he has ever met.
Obama noted Yo-Yo Ma has won 16 Grammy Awards, stating, "I'm only 14 behind him." The President added, "While Yo-Yo could have settled for being the world's greatest cellist, he said that even greater than his passion for music is his passion for people and I can testify to this. There are very few people you'll meet who have the exuberance and joy that Yo Yo possesses."
Yo-Yo Ma, who is a Messenger of Peace for the United Nations, also serves on Obama's Arts and Humanity Committee.