Virtuoso cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought the sound of hope to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic Saturday at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Mass. The musician, 65, was there to get his second jab along with his wife, Jill Hornor.

After he arrived carrying his cello, a nurse asked if he would be able to play for the other waiting patients during the 15-minute observation period that’s required when receiving the shot.

Ma played classical selections including Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, Prelude and Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”

“Happy Saturday to everyone but especially Yo-Yo Ma who got his second dose at our local vaccine clinic today and played a concert for everyone during the 15 min waiting period,” wrote Berkshire Eagle reporter Francesca Paris on Twitter, in a widely-shared tweet.

Richard Hall of the Berkshire COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative told the Berkshire Eagle that the cellist was delighted to be able to give something back to the community as the clinic was winding down for the day. “What a way to end the clinic,” he told the local publication.

Ma has been providing comfort to music lovers since the beginning of the pandemic with his online #SongsofComfort series.

One year ago, he wrote on Twitter, “In these days of anxiety, I wanted to find a way to continue to share some of the music that gives me comfort.”


In September, he brought more live music to the residents of the Pittsfield and Lee areas, playing a series of surprise concerts for essential workers from the back of a flatbed truck along with pianist Emanuel Ax.