Yo-Yo Ma, the CSO’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, talks about civic pride in an interview with Crain’s Chicago Business. “I love the city,” he said before the recent Concert for Peace, presented by St. Sabina Church, Ma and the Negaunee Music Institute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. “There’s a lot of depth, a lot of pride in the way the city operates, and the institutions here are fabulous.”

Another motiving factor is his abiding concern for Chicago and its citizens, and the impact of gun-related violence on the community. “I try to say, ‘How can I help?’ ” said Ma, who takes Chicago’s reputation as seriously as if he were born and raised here. “I care about how people talk about Chicago in other cities, countries, states,” he said. “We don’t want people to think of Chicago as a place that’s dangerous. … I am particularly interested in this [part] of the country because I think [it] has a deep soul, and the soul of the country in many ways stems from what happens here.”

For Ma, it’s not just about the music, or any art, really. “It’s about people.”

To read the full interview, click here (registration required to access the article if not a Crain’s subscriber).