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Yo-Yo Ma searches for roots during tour of Taiwan, China

Yo-Yo Ma began what he called a root-searching tour with concerts in Taiwan and his father's hometown in China and played J.S. Bach — one of the first composers the cellist learned to play.

Ma, whose 50th birthday was last month, said he began learning cello at age 4 with his father in Paris by playing Bach's suites. The family later moved to New York.

"After reaching 50, I began to wonder what the root of life is," he said Sunday.

Ma said that as a child he didn't enjoy practicing the cello very much.

"I still don't like practicing so much now, but I could bear with it if music helps me find my roots," he said.

After two concerts in Taiwan on Sunday and Monday, Ma was to perform in Hong Kong, Shanghai and his father's hometown of Ningbo in eastern China.