Quotation by Yeou-Cheng Ma

I traded my childhood for my good left hand.
Yeou-Cheng Ma (b. c. 1950), U.S. musician and pediatrician. As quoted in the New York Times, p. 39 (October 3, 1993).

Referring to her childhood as a violin prodigy. Ma's father gave her a violin when she was seven months old, and she won her first competition at three-and-a-half, playing against teenagers. Practicing eight hours per day, she did not attend school and took corespondence courses instead. But by the time she was eleven, her more talented younger brother, cellist Yo-Yo Ma (b. 1955), was attracting attention, and she studied the piano so that she could accompany him. Four years later, when her violin teacher told her to stick with the piano, she was crushed. She eventually became a developmental pediatrician but continued to be involved in music as executive director of the Children's Orchestra Society in New York City.
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