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.