A message on behalf of cellist Alexandra Thompson and Yo-Yo Ma

Dear friends -
You may have read the story of my early memory of Yo-Yo Ma in the program book this weekend, but I wanted to share with you directly. When my father was a clarinetist with the PSO, he came home from a rehearsal with Yo-Yo Ma with a scrap of paper that had some back exercises scribbled on it. In passing backstage, my dad mentioned to Mr. Ma that I had just been diagnosed with scoliosis, the same condition for which Ma had underwent surgery. Immediately, he dropped to the ground, demonstrating the exercises and then wrote them out for my dad to share with me. That kind gesture meant the world to awkward 12-year old me – and I still have the piece of paper today!
Donor support of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is what makes unexpected special moments like these a reality for kids like me. I’m writing to you today to make a special request for a gift in honor of Yo-Yo Ma’s visit to Pittsburgh. The PSO is able to bring such an inspiring artist to Pittsburgh because of our Annual Fund, and the impact of your gift reaches far beyond the confines of Heinz Hall. Indeed, Mr. Ma is a worldwide change-maker, especially for children. My career as a cellist was influenced in no small way by his presence and willingness to go the extra mile, and he continues to impact people in the same way today. You might have heard that on Friday, he visited Braddock on his own initiative with the Kennedy Center for the Arts to highlight the role music can have in bringing people together. By bringing him to play with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, our entire city benefited from him dedicating his time to our region.
One donation reverberates and makes a difference – please ensure that everyone in our region continues to have access to exceptional, world-class music by making a gift to our Annual Fund today.
Thank you,
Alexandra Thompson