Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emmanuel Ax have added their voices to those calling for an end to the invasion of Ukraine. In a bid for peace, the pair performed a cello and piano arrangement of the second movement from Brahms's Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor.
Though he has spent much of his career living and working elsewhere, Ax was born in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, which was then part of the Soviet Union. Both of his parents were Polish and Jewish, having escaped the concentration camps during the Second World War before settling in Ukraine.
Ma is one of the United Nations' Messengers of Peace and has been outspoken about the war in Ukraine in a number of different contexts. He recently spent time performing in the street outside D.C.'s Russian Embassy as a means of protest against the war, and alongside a homemade street sign that read "Zelensky Way".
Additionally, Ma and Ax finished a string of piano trio performances alongside violinist Leonidas Kavakos, and they opened a March 8 concert at Washington's Kennedy Center with a rousing performance of the Ukrainian national anthem, which brought the full-house audience to their feet.
"My friend Yo-Yo and I would like to extend our warmest greetings and our hope for peace," Ax said. "Please remain strong. Thank you; stay safe!"