Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Kathryn Stott thrill Milwaukee listeners in recital

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his longtime recital partner, pianist Kathryn Stott, performed Friday at Milwaukee's Bradley Symphony Center.

If you think that hearing live music again after two years of COVID-19 lockdowns is a wonderful experience, imagine the delight musicians are feeling in returning to the stage.

That delight was evident on both sides of the footlights on Friday evening from the moment world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and his longtime collaborator, British pianist Kathryn Stott, took the Bradley Symphony Center stage for an artfully programmed recital presented by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

The beautifully played, completely engaging program opened and closed with sets of stand-alone pieces grouped into sets. The pair took barely a breath of time between pieces in the sets, making a fluid, silent bit of ballet out of the simple act of moving music from the previous piece out of the way to read the music for the next.