Posted in music on January 20, 2009

Itzahk Perlman, left, talks with cellist Yo-Yo Ma @ rehearsal
Yo Yo Ma

When the cellist Yo-Yo Ma takes to the inaugural stage on Tuesday [he is on that stage as I type this], the instrument he will have may take music enthusiasts by surprise. Black, with a single-piece body, neck and peg box, and with no scroll at the top, the cello is a high-tech carbon-fiber instrument designed to withstand the cold.

Created by Luis Leguia and his Massachusetts-based company, Luis and Clark, the cello is unaffected by temperature and humidity, which can crack or split the delicate antique instruments that professionals usually use. Mr. Ma plans to play his Luis and Clark cello if the weather warrants, said his manager, Mary Pat Buerkle. His other cello, a 1733 Montagnana from Venice, is worth more than $2 million. Mr. Ma will be playing a score by John Williams with Itzhak Perlman on violin, Gabriela Montero on piano and Anthony McGill on clarinet. Mr. Perlman could not be reached for comment. [NY Times]

UPDATE: It appears he didn't need to use the new cello.

Obama is now the president.

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Comments (39)

Music Snob in 2012!

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:13 PM

Peace be on all who bear witness to the great superpower's color blindness.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:16 PM

Curious ... the caption said that John Williams wrote the piece especially for the inauguration. But the damn piece seemed like a reworking of Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copeland.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:24 PM

Regardless of the composition itself, I agree that Yo Yo Ma kicked ass.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:29 PM

They should have busted out into the Emperor's theme from Star Wars.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:38 PM

Everyone to Bedford! Let's get those cops back for Election Day!

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:39 PM

"They should have busted out into the Emperor's theme from Star Wars."

For when Cheney walked out?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:41 PM

"Black, with a single-piece body, neck and peg box, and with no scroll at the top, the cello is a high-tech carbon-fiber instrument designed to withstand the cold."

O RLY??

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:41 PM

It was arranged by John Williams, not written. The main melody was the traditional "Simple Gifts."

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:43 PM

Definitely used his usual cello. I would have liked to see that new one though.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:48 PM

'It was arranged by John Williams, not written. The main melody was the traditional "Simple Gifts."'

Thanks! After looking that up turns out it was used in Appalachian Spring. Never knew ...

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:48 PM

Rev. Lowery killed it - the red man gonna get ahead man, and the white man will embrace what's right, man

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:49 PM

new president is blowing it.

he's been in power for almost an hour already and my life still sucks.

where's my bailout?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:51 PM

the sound sucked!

Posted by Dick Cheney's wheelchair | January 20, 2009 12:52 PM

Girl you thought he was a man, but he was a muffin

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:52 PM

crowd sucked in back, there were people talking by the bar.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:54 PM

bush just farted in the helicopter.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:57 PM

I'm awaiting the return of American prosperity...with a Vivian Girl in every pot and a Dan Deacon in every garage!

Posted by Huzzah! | January 20, 2009 12:58 PM

"Definitely used his usual cello."

updated, thanks!

Posted by brooklynvegan | January 20, 2009 12:58 PM

"For when Cheney walked out?"

Oops, yes, forgot to add that part.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 12:59 PM

Did you see all the hipster arriving late and trying to push their way to the front?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:00 PM

I have to kick Dan Deacon out of my garage almost every week.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:00 PM

Crystal Stilts killed it after the poem was read! Nice choice, Obama!

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:05 PM

12:thirty eiggghhhht!!

Posted by AlienSoundtracks | January 20, 2009 1:35 PM

come on guys, it was Beethoven's 9th Symphony overture slowed down.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:35 PM

Hi BV, how about an inaugural version of "What's going on tonight"? Or was there one already..

Posted by AlienSoundtracks | January 20, 2009 1:36 PM

Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak and company were great as expected. Who truly killed it was Aretha Franklin. Of course she's hated by some of the idiots here because she was wearing fur at some events.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:41 PM

The most memorable part of Aretha's performance was her hat.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:51 PM

did anyone else notice that Aretha Franklin was actually singing God Save The Queen British National anthem to inaudible text?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:54 PM

Rev. Lowery's remarks were a riff on a song by Big Bill Bronzy called Get Back (Black, Brown and White), written in 1951.
The lyrics were frequently quoted during the civil rights era. The part about the red man getting ahead was added later during the early 70's American Indian movement.
I remember my Dad saying it too, when talking about the marches he went on:
"They says: If you was white,
You's alright,
If you was brown,
Stick around,
But if you's black, oh, brother,
Get back, get back, get back."

Rev. Lowery did indeed, kill it. fantastic.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:54 PM

anon 1:51: Show some respect, man. Aretha is an icon. and you clearly are an idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:56 PM

Secret Yo Yo Ma show tonight at the Market Hotel, opening for Fucked Up.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 1:57 PM

did anyone think that was Ma wearing a clip-on?

Posted by jay | January 20, 2009 2:08 PM

But most importantly.....would anybody hit it?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 2:12 PM

who wouldn't?

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 2:54 PM

this piece was so bad. it hurt. but congratz on your new president. from europe with love.

Posted by Anonymous | January 20, 2009 5:27 PM

yo yo ma and itzhak definitely killed it!

Posted by j | January 20, 2009 9:27 PM

I do wonder how the string players managed to stay so well in tune when it was so cold outside. I see that there is a portable radiator in the above picture, but I didn't see one for the performance. I can't imagine that any kind of plug in radiator could generate enough even heat to keep the violin and cello from going out of tune. I loved Aretha Franklin's hat, and I loved her singing, though the way she split the syllables of the word "country" left something to be desired. What's a singer to do?

Posted by Elaine | January 20, 2009 11:19 PM

ru all morons?

Posted by Someone | September 13, 2009 1:13 AM

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