Yo-Yo Ma treated unsuspecting strangers to an impromptu performance Saturday at a vaccination site in the Berkshires.
The famed cellist, 65, was at the Berkshire Community College field house in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to get his second shot of the COVID-19 vaccine when he turned the 15-minute post-vaccination observation period into a world-class concert, according to local paper the Berkshire Eagle.
A video of the performance from Berkshire Community College shows Ma, who lives in the area part time, sitting in a chair against the wall, wearing a mask and playing “Ave Maria,” originally composed by Franz Schubert in 1825.
Berkshire Community College excitedly share the news of the unexpected performance and awe-inspiring moment on Instagram and Twitter.
“Today at the #MyBCC vaccination clinic, the folks waiting for 15 minutes in observation were graced with the musical talents of the one and only Yo-Yo Ma,” the school captioned a series of photos of Ma and a short clip.
“How amazing. He is a worldwide treasure,” one person replied via Twitter.
“Saw him in concert decades ago. Masterful, gracious, so talented,” someone else wrote.
“How fortunate to have this experience….when I heard ave Maria I just 😭😭,” added another person
“I had the pleasure to meet him one time a couple of years ago, and the only way I can describe him is just such a beautiful soul,” someone else tweeted. “He was just so genuinely interested in everything other than himself. He is the definition of a class act.”
Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives Smitty Pignatelli also commended the musician for his melodious good deed.
“@YoYo_Ma is always a classy act #intheberkshires,” he tweeted. “Bringing hope and optimism through his beautiful music.”
Ma’s performance at the vaccination clinic comes a year after he posted his first #SongsOfComfort during the pandemic.
“In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort,” the cellist wrote at the time. “Stay safe.”
Ma has often given back through his music. At the end of the summer, he and Grammy-winning pianist Emanuel Ax played a series of unannounced pop-up concerts for essential workers.
This story was originally published on TODAY.com.
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