Yo-Yo Ma Performs With String Quintet at Opening of Interim Memorial for Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Yo-Yo Ma
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Yo-Yo Ma, Curator of the MIT Solve Arts and Culture Mentorship Prize, performs onstage during The 2017 Concordia Annual Summit at Grand Hyatt New York on Sept. 18, 2017 in New York City. 

On May 8, onePULSE Foundation officially opened their temporary Pulse Interim Memorial to memorialize the lives lost during the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.

To commemorate the occasion, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma made an appearance to perform a moving tribute to the victims of the shooting. Joined in a string quintet by Eric Jacobsen (cello), Colin Jacobsen (violin), Rimma Bergeron-Langlois (violin) and Mauricio Céspedes Rivero (viola), Ma performed Franz Schubert’s “String Quintet in C” at the memorial.

In a video from the event, passersby can be seen walking by and listening to Ma play while browsing a large gallery, with walls covered in photos featuring Pride flags and messages of support left after the tragic attack.

The interim memorial is a temporary stand-in for what will eventually become a full memorial and museum dedicated to the shooting. The onePULSE Foundation is expected to spend most of 2018 searching for and deciding on an official design for the permanent museum.

“The Design and Construction Committee is excited to take this first step toward a permanent memorial and museum,” committee Chair Vicki Berman said in a statement. “We know that the next phase of the process will require much time and a great deal of effort, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Watch Yo-Yo Ma’s moving performance of Schubert’s “String Quintet in C” below: