In the music world, there is a lot of "fronting." That makes sense. A life in music can be tough. It seems as though many people protect themselves with an emotional suit of armor that closes them off from other people and inhibits true learning and understanding, all in the interest of self-preservation.
Yo-Yo is more open to those around him than anyone I have ever seen performing. You know what I'm talking about if you have seen him perform with others. He is constantly interacting with the other musicians as he plays. He elevates them to his "rockstar" status by including them in his performance.
But it's more than his collaborative spirit that inspires me. He also has a child-like curiosity, as though he still has a lot to learn. When many see him as the best cellist in the world, he has the openness of a newbie. What a wonderful way to be.
Instead, one needs to constantly remind oneself to play with the abandon of the child who is just learning the cello. Because why is that kid playing? He is playing for pleasure. He is playing because making this sound, expressing this melody, makes him happy.
That is still the only good reason to play.
And this article touches on the fact that sharing helps alleviate his performance anxiety:
And here's one of my favorite interviews with him--for kids: http://www.littlecellist.com/page/cellist-ma