Internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma gave a surprise performance Saturday at a vaccination site in Massachusetts after receiving his second shot.
Ma, 65, who lives part-time in the Berkshires, spent the 15-minute observation period after his second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine playing music for other people being vaccinated. Ma “wanted to give something back” to the community, Richard Hall of the Berkshire COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative told The Berkshire Eagle.
In videos posted to Facebook by Berkshire Community College, which is hosting the vaccine distribution site, Ma performs Bach’s Prelude in G Major and Schubert’s Ave Maria. In another clip, the socially distanced attendees are seen applauding and cheering.
Exactly one year before he performed for his fellow vaccine patients, Ma posted the first in a series of recordings of himself performing what he called his ”#SongsOfComfort,” as international COVID-19 lockdowns began not long after the outset of the pandemic. He said he hoped the music would help alleviate anxiety in difficult times.
He also did several pop-up concerts throughout the pandemic with pianist Emanuel Ax to give back to essential workers in the Berkshires, including postal workers, bus drivers, teachers, and medical and emergency services providers.