Classical cellist who made his career by following his fascination with the music of various cultures and the ways that music can be blended together.
He wanted to play the double bass because he liked the size of the instrument, but chose the cello as a compromise between the viola, which he had previously learned to play.
He won several Grammy Awards, was honored with the National Medal of Arts in 2001, and was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.
He had two children with German language instructor Jill Hornor, whom he married in 1978
He performed for Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy at age seven.