Yo-Yo Ma has been invited to perform at the inauguration of President-elect Obama on January 20, 2009

On the heels of Yo-Yo Ma’s current success with his best-selling album, Songs of Joy & Peace, the superstar cellist has been invited to perform at the inauguration of President-elect Obama on January 20, 2009.

Associated Press said: “Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill will perform a new work composed by John Williams, who also provided music for Obama's election night rally in Chicago's Grant Park.”

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Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma part of Obama inauguration

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays a piece by composer George Gershwin during a special convocation held to present Sen. Edward M. Kennedy with an honorary degree at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Mass.

WASHINGTON — Aretha Franklin will sing, the Rev. Rick Warren will pray and more than 11,000 U.S. troops will be watching over inauguration ceremonies in case of an attack during President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

As many as 4 million visitors are expected to be on hand when Obama takes the noontime oath from Chief Justice John Roberts on the steps of the Capitol.

Some 4,000 local police, 4,000 police from around the country and security agents from other government agencies will be on hand, taking direction from the Secret Service. About 7,500 active duty military and 4,000 National Guard troops also will participate.

That includes a contingent on alert to respond to a chemical attack.

A "big chunk" of active and guard units will perform ceremonial work involving parades, reviews and honor guards, the U.S. commander in charge of domestic defense said Wednesday.

Planners are working under the assumption a terrorist or rogue element might try to interrupt the event, said Gen. Gene Renuart, head of the U.S. Northern Command. "So it's prudent for us to plan for the possibility of that kind of event, and to be prepared either to deter it or to respond to it," he said in a session with defense writers.

Also Wednesday, officials announced the list of participants for the inauguration.

The program is to feature poet Elizabeth Alexander; the Rev.

Joseph Lowery, a veteran civil rights leader; the U.S. Marine and Navy bands; and the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

"So it's prudent for us to plan for the possibility of that kind of event, and to be prepared either to deter it or to respond to it," he said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, said the day would be "an event of historic proportion." "It is appropriate that the program will include some of the world's most gifted artists from a wide range of backgrounds and genres," she said.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzhak Perlman, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill will perform a new work composed by John Williams, who also provided music for Obama's election night rally in Chicago's Grant Park.

The committee did not release a title for the work by Williams, who is best known for his film scores such as "Star Wars" and "Jaws." Vice President-elect Joe Biden will take his oath from Justice John Paul Stevens.

Others on the schedule were a nod to Obama's election as the country's first black president.

Lowery, who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King, Jr., was scheduled to offer the event's benediction.

Franklin, a living legend with 21 Grammies, performed for President Bill Clinton in 1993, but this would be her first Inauguration. During a Labor Day weekend rally in Detroit, Obama sang a bit of Franklin's "Chain of Fools" to her.

Alexander, a 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist and Yale University professor, centers her poems and essays on race relations and social movements.

She is only the fourth poet to have a speaking role at a presidential Inauguration. Robert Frost, who was 86 at the time, wrote a poem for Kennedy's inaugural in 1961 but couldn't make out the words of the poem in the sun's glare. Instead, he recited an earlier work. Clinton chose Maya Angelou to write a poem for his first inaugural in 1993, and Miller Williams read "Of History and Hope" at his second inaugural.

Liberal groups criticized the inclusion of Warren, whose "Purpose Driven Life" books and lectures have made his church among the largest in the country. People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said Warren's support for California Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage, should have blocked his invitation.

A popular figure among evangelicals, Warren remained publicly neutral during the presidential campaign. He invited both Obama and his Republican rival John McCain to his Saddleback Church in Orange County for a forum on faith and public service.

Posted by sonyeric

Comments (18)

This was an excellent representation, and certainly to the image of your talent Yo-Yo Ma.

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George J Foreman

It is pleasure to listen to you. Great music and artist!
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Yo yo ma where are you from? Very nice name. Hair loss treatment

Hey Yo-Yo Ma! Congratulations on being invited to perform for the President, that's quite an accomplishment. How did it go? Were you nervous? freight factoring company

What else can I say except perfection?

Daniel,
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Yo-Yo Ma, you did a great job. What are your future concerts?.
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We believe that the message of peace is very much important.a new work composed by John Williams, who also provided music for Obama's election night rally in Chicago's Grant Park.Thanks for sharing.free games online

Yo-Yo Ma was incredible and proved what a great choice it was. Looking forward to catching plenty more of him in the future Wildlife Books

Great choice, excellent performance. Such a wonderful and talented Cellist.
Kostas from crete - kreta

It was great to listen to his music and go deep in thoughts.

vigrx

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Inauguration and one of the highlights was seeing the performance of Yo-Yo Ma. I too would also like to know where we can download the music. this would be a nice surprise for my son who plays the cello and is a big fan of Yo-Yo Ma

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-Stephen
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Absolutely wonderful. I wish I could have seen it in person. A truly excellent choice for the Inaugural Ceremony. Congratulaions! provillus

I am a freelance cellist who owns a very lovely 250 year old cello. When it hits 60 degrees I will NO LONGER play outdoors. A cello that is that old cannot take it.
I'm responding to all the talk about the decision to play to track. The track was recorded by the players after all. It wasn't recorded by Yo-Yo Ma, Itzak Perlman etc and "lip-synched" by some unknown players.
Therefore I propose that this same group play LIVE at the Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida. It's bound to be at least acceptable weather conditions.
These ignorant critics of which Anne Midgette of the Washington Post's article: "Taped inaugeration music robs Americans of experience" is a part of have been the real robbers of the national experience. These instruments that these musicians played on are so precious they cannot be sacrificed for a presidents inaugeration however wonderful just so the american people can have a "live" experience.

I'm a string teacher in public school, and although I missed the inauguration because i was teaching, so many of my middle school students said how fabulous you were. You made quite an impression.

I have used your video often, the one you did with Winton Marsalis about practicing called "Conquering the Monster".

Keep up the wonderful work

Matt Valenti

What joy was expressed with the playing of the music at the inaugural..Tell us please where we can download the music to our ipods...Watching you play makes my heart soar

Wow, I just realized I have a picture of Yo Yo Ma, myself and my friend Cheryl in NYC. Cheryl , her new husband Bob and I were on our way to Egypt and the middle east. We stayed in NYC for a week while we waited for our flight to Egypt. We did some sight seeing, using the subway to get around, and there he was, playing for all who passed.

Dressed in casual clothes, playing on the steps of the subway in NYC.

Giving his hope, his beauty, his sacred music to the subway riders. I thought then how kind his heart must be. How much love must fill his spirit. For a man of his standing and mastery to give so freely of himself. It made me humble. It was for me the perfect send off, as I left for my pilgramage to the middle east, and Egypt , I kept hearing in my head the beautiful and almost erie sound of a classical cello playing in the subway.

Abundance bless

Reverend Freda M

Yo-Yo Ma was an amazing choice for the Inaugural Ceremony. Congratulaions!

Sincerely,

VJB3
MWF
http://famas.tumblr.com/

We believe the message of Peace is important. All nations who strive for Peace should recognize the power and beauty of it. We made a short video asking people to simply, "Smile If You Love Peace." It worked. And a beautiful, multicultural alliance for peace was formed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWSwAehpURk

Lori