Yo-Yo Ma Kicks Off Concert With Poignant Tribute To Ukraine

Audience members could hear a pin drop after the performance.

World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax and violinist Leonidas Kavakos showed solidarity with Ukraine at the start of their all-Beethoven program at The Kennedy Center in Washington on Monday with a performance of the Ukrainian national anthem.

People in the full audience stood throughout the rendition. They remained silent for several seconds after it finished, then burst into applause before taking seats.

Earlier Monday, Ma performed to little fanfare outside the Russian Embassy in Washington.

“Everyone has to do something,” he reportedly told a passerby surprised by the famed cellist’s low-key gig.

On the day Russia invaded Ukraine, Ma retweeted this appeal from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres:

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