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National Briefing / And Finally . . .

Inaugural quartet bowed to the cold

January 23, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Only those within earshot heard the celebrated classical musicians playing at President Obama's inauguration. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill decided after a sound check Monday to use a recording.

Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said it was too cold for their instruments to stay in tune. Washington's temperature hovered near 30 on Tuesday.

"They were very insistent on playing live until it became clear that it would be too cold," Florman said.

People sitting nearby could hear them play "Air and Simple Gifts," written for the inauguration by John Williams, but their instruments were not amplified.

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