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TVO spins Yo-Yo Ma deal

BEIJING — Canada’s TVOntario has announced a deal with China for a documentary series worked around renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

The centerpiece of the deal is “Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach,” the six-part performing-arts documentary series getting its world premiere Oct. 26 in Canada on TVO.

As part of this cultural exchange, TVOntario will launch “Yo-Yo Ma: Inspired by Bach” in China on Sept. 26 with a live concert in Beijing that features Yo-Yo Ma in performance with the China Broadcasting Philharmonic Orchestra.

The concert will be broadcast on Central China Television (CCTV), followed by a broadcast of the six-part series in October.

The project is endorsed by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Radio, Film & Television as an official cultural exchange between Canada and China.

“This is the culmination of years of planning and development by TVOntario throughout the 1990s to establish a firm foothold in Asia, and most particularly in China,” said TVOntario chairman and CEO Peter Berrndorf at the official signing ceremony Sept. 15 in Toronto.

TVOntario has spent the past four years developing relationships with half a dozen major broadcasters in China, and has a strategic alliance with Oriental Television (OTV) in Shanghai.

The Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites of Johann Sebastian Bach, produced by Rhombus Media Inc., one of Canada’s leading producers of performing-arts film and television, is a unique collaboration between Yo-Yo Ma, six internationally recognized artists from a range of disciplines and six of Canada’s top film directors.

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