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So who’s gonna play at the second Obama inagural?

Four years ago, it was a quartet made up of Gabriela Montero (piano), Yo Yo Ma (cello), Itzhak Perlman (violin) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).

Get it? Four large minorities faithfully represented at the president’s big day.

So who should he summon this time round? And should the president redress the imbalance? Maybe they should actually play this time, not just mime in the freezing cold to a pre-recorded track.

Hilary Hahn, perhaps? Jeremy Denk? Your suggestions, please… I’m sure they’ll be welcomed on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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  1. ruben greenberg says:

    I am willing to play for Obama’s inauguration, but I’m afraid he’ll have to change the date because I’m not free on that particular day. He must realise that I’m a very busy man.

    • You can ‘phone it in’ if you like, just like they did last time. Make sure you bring enough grease for your bow.

  2. Malcolm James says:

    What did they play in 2009? From the line-up it could have been Quartet for the End of Time :)

    • Mauro Sheehan says:

      One of the pieces performed was a special arrangement by John Williams of Simple Gifts. Not played live I gather, but mimed to a recording made a few days earlier – still very effective. The recording is available on Sony’s 80th birthday tribute to Williams

  3. SAM MIHAILOFF says:

    Yes, soap on the violin bow, soap on the cello bow, no reed on the clarinet and the entire sound board mechanism disconnected fro the piano…TOTAL GARBAGE

    They might as well just passed out vintage Sony Walmans to the guests

    • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

      I suggest the Norman (sic) Tabernacle Choir and the Harlem Boys Choir singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic arranged by John Williams with the Dude conducting the LA Phil and the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra. Slam, bam, thank you Sam.

      My real vote: no public ceremony; give the money saved to the people who need it in NJ and NYC.

  4. Ghillie Forrest says:

    Fat chance. Obama won’t be running for anything again,. so he has nothing to lose!

  5. I guess the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony Orchestra are not an option? ;-)

  6. Paul Ricchi says:

    Not a chance someone of the stature of Marian Andersen will sing the National Anthem, as happened at the Kennedy inaugural in 1960   That tradition has become an exercise in narcissistic self-indulgence.

  7. Elysha Fields says:

    How about John Cage 4’33″? No need to mime….and a little silence might do good :-)

  8. A mariachi band

  9. Folks, if they had actually played that piece outside in the freezing cold rather than miming it to a pre-recorded track, the music would have been horrendously out of tune. If they feel they have to hold the inauguration outdoors on the Mall in January, then instrumentalists will have to mime. (Well, they’ll have to be prepared to mime; if it happens to be 60 degrees outside [15*C], which is not impossible, then the instruments will probably stay in tune.)

  10. Ohio put him over the top in the electoral vote, so how about the Cleveland Orchestra? Granted, that’s a lot of miming.

  11. Gerald Novak says:

    little known fact, but live audio was actually secretly recorded for posterity – here’s the proof :)

  12. Stephen Carpenter says:

    I would suggest that it be a chorus and I would further suggest that it be Westminster Choir, (Rider University, Princeton, NJ). Why? Something about 40 young people with voices beyond their years seems to embody so much. If America is anything is is a song being sung and if our hope is in anything it most assuredly needs to be in our youth and there is no better demonstration of that than with this choir.
    Time is short, there should also be a new piece written for the occasion.
    I’m hoping this becomes a serious consideration.

  13. William Safford says:

    My first thought is Jessye Norman. Is she still concertizing, or is she now retired? I used to attend her recitals and appearances at the Met, (and I met her once), but have not heard her in years.

  14. Victoria Clarke says:

    Some corporate shills, maybe Jay Z and Beyonce.

  15. I would have thought that baritone Thomas Hampson who is a keen promoter of American music and song would be an obvious choice for the second inauguration of President Obama. Jessye Norman was a wonderful singer in her hey-day, but I’m not sure whether her voice is still at its best.

  16. Bill Clinton

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