Shared Humanity Through Art

Collaborating with Yo-Yo Ma

Liza Donnelly
4 min readMay 20, 2023

Last Wednesday, I was given the privilege to be onstage and draw and improvise with master cellist Yo-Yo Ma. It was an incredible honor.

I drew, he played. I watched him, and the audience; he watched me and my drawing as it appeared onscreen. It was a multiple collaboration. I responded to what he was playing, he responded to what I was drawing. In between the playing and drawing, we discussed many things, moderated by Stage Director Guy Ben-Aharon.

Some drawings were of the audience, some of Yo-Yo, and one was pure imagination in response to his playing.

Two arts interacting.

A beautiful stage. Our conversations were moderated by Director Guy Ben-Aharon, on the right