He’s played in sold-out concert halls and stadiums around the world, and even though the pandemic has halted his tour plans, Yo-Yo Ma, 65, hasn’t let that stop him from performing.
On Saturday, the world-famous cellist put together an impromptu special performance for Massachusetts residents at Berkshire Community College after the gymnasium was turned into a vaccination centre.
After receiving his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, Ma used his 15-minute observation period to perform for others who were also newly inoculated. The cellist "wanted to give something back", Richard Hall of the Berkshire Covid-19 Vaccine Collaborative told the Berkshire Eagle newspaper.
After getting his shot, Ma took a seat by the wall of the community college, where he wore his mask and was socially distant from others. He then began to play music on his cello for a small but appreciative and applauding audience.
The performance also coincidentally marked one year since he shared his musical recordings to Twitter to bring comfort during uncertain times at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
“In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort,” he tweeted.
He continued the #SongsofComfort campaign throughout the year, which included videos of him performing classical music, often collaborating with other musicians.
Ma is a renowned musician who graduated from The Juilliard School and Harvard University.
Over the course of his career, he has recorded 90 albums and received 18 Grammy Awards. He was supposed to perform with The Cleveland Orchestra at Emirates Palace for the 2020 Abu Dhabi Festival last April, however the event was postponed because of the pandemic.