Watch: Yo-Yo Ma performs Saint-Saens, Bach with Misty Copeland on Colbert

October 6, 2015

Yo-Yo Ma gave a pair of breathtaking performances for Stephen Colbert's audience on "The Late Show" Monday. 

The cellist appeared alongside ballet dancer Misty Copeland of the American Ballet Company performing the Courante from Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suite No. 2.

Later, Ma gave another breathtaking performance that didn't air. Here's the cellist playing a jazz-infused version of Camille Saint-Saens' "The Swan" from "Carnival of the Animals" with house band John Batiste and Stay Human.

A while back, CPR Classical's Karla Walker wondered if Colbert might give classical music a larger presence on late night TV. While hosting "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central he featured guests like conductor Lorin Maazel, composer Philip Glass and tenor Placido Domingo. So it's no surprise to see guests like Ma and Copeland turn up just a few weeks into Colbert's tenure as "Late Show" host.

Ma loves using TV to help classical music reach new audiences. He recently told Strings Magazine his proudest career accomplishment is appearing on shows like Sesame Street and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and bringing classical music to young viewers.

For more from Monday's "Late Show," here's Colbert talking with Copeland about being an African-American dancer and diversity in the ballet world.

To hear more of Bach's cello suites from the CPR Performance Studio, check out these sessions with Colorado Symphony principal cellist Silver Ainomae and electric violinist Zachary Carrettin

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