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Cellist Yo-Yo Ma seen performing in front of Russia's embassy in Washington

Yo-Yo Ma performs during the Celebrating America event on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021
Posted at 1:04 PM, Mar 08, 2022

One of the most recognizable names in the world of modern classical music, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, was spotted performing out on the sidewalk in front of Russia's U.S. embassy in Washington, D.C.

A message written in chalk on the footpath read, "Get Out of Ukraine Now," andan improvised street sign stood beside the cellistwhich read "Zelensky Way."

As NPR reported, the famous musician was in Washington, scheduled to perform at the Kennedy Center on Monday night. He played alongside pianist Emanuel Ax that night at their scheduled performance and were joined by violinist Leonidas Kavakos as they began the show by playing Ukraine's national anthem. The audience stood for that portion of the show.

The world-renowned musician appeared to remain largely unnoticed during his street performance while wearing a mask. That was until a passing cyclist spotted him and asked him who he was.

"I just asked him, point-blank, 'are you Yo-Yo Ma?'" Ryan Stitt said, as local Washington TV station WUSA reported. Stitt said the two of them began chatting casually.