Who should play at Joe Biden’s inauguration?

Who should play at Joe Biden’s inauguration?


norman lebrecht

November 08, 2020

President Obama has a representative quartet of classical musicians at his first inauguration in January 2009. The African-American Anthony McGill played clarinet; Chinese-American Yo-Yo Ma was the cellist;  Israeli-American Itzhak Perlman led from the violin and Hispanic-American Gabriela Montero played piano. It was perfectly pitched, with a Quaker hymn set by John Williams.

Obama, I was reminded at the time by the late Chicago critic Andrew Patner, knew his way around classical concerts and was sometimes seen in the Symphony Hall audience.

The same cannot be said of Joe Biden. who trades on his blue-collar Delaware origins.

So who should we advise him to invite to play at the inauguration?

It’s a dozen years on from Obamas’s debut. Is there a new representative generation?

Nominations, please.


  • Christopher says:

    I think he should get musicians that don’t only appeal to the top of society. He needs to build bridges with Trumps from day one.

    • Bill says:

      Biden could have Ted Nugent, Ice Cube and Wayne Newton, capped off with Jon Voigt giving a dramatic reading of all of Trump’s greatest tweets as a gesture of goodwill and it still wouldn’t do anything to gain support from Trumpists.

      Just best to move on. They’ll get over it eventually.

      • Yolanda says:

        Can’t wait to celebrate Biden’s WHITE PRIVILEGE win!!

        Harris couldn’t cut it on her own so she’s underneath a white guy as usual.

        • African-American guy says:

          Kamala clearly couldn’t do it on her own.

          She gonna be givin’ it up to her white masta in praise of white privilege!! LMFAO

        • William Safford says:

          You’re confused. You meant to write “the Orange Bigot’s WHITE PRIVILEGE win” in 2016.

          In 2020, the White Supremacist candidate lost.

          Biden won, with the strong support of the African-American community.

          Biden, to his credit, was the loyal and supportive VP to President Obama for eight years.

          Biden, in turn, chose to run with Kamala Harris. She is now the Vice President-Elect.

          Many people are threatened by the idea of a strong, talented, capable woman of Black and Asian Indian ancestry occupying the Vice Presidency. That’s your loss, and the country’s gain.

    • Captain Birdseye says:

      Trump is a Dodo, mate. I am sure Joe knows how to appease the great unwashed before the next election.

      • Dander says:

        Yes that is all they really care about in the final analysis, getting re-elected. A real Hobson’s choice they have to be sure.

    • Tommy says:

      Millionaire limousine liberals like yoyoma should play.

      “Winners celebrate winners”,
      paves the way to…

      “real fascist 2024!”

      • Cammy says:

        You wouldn’t know culture from a container of yogurt.

        • Janice T. Waters says:

          Neither did Obama nor Biden!!

          They did ZERO for the arts at high levels. Obama had RAP, R&B and pop which is fine. Whenever did we see operatic artists represented? Any?? Only with the WHITE presidents!

          Leontyne Price graced the White House under Regan in ‘83 I believe. GLORIOUS!

          Time has proved with each New Democrat administration, standards HAD to be lowered. One look at the laughable state of opera and classical music vs RAP with their base said it all.

          Under Trump all artists got death threats from the deplorable Left besides cancellation.

          With the coming days of the legal process unfolding in the USA, Trump will likely remain in power in spite of the usual Leftist gimmicks and rudeness. Our GSA can’t certify the winner until all legal ballots have been verified and counted. With blue states dragging their asses, we may not know until well after Thanksgiving…….

          • William Safford says:

            Actually, almost all of what you wrote is false, as others have pointed out elsewhere.

            Does it comfort you to hold onto those lies, or do you prefer to learn something new?

    • A. Delinski says:

      When Biden and Harris raise taxes and more HNW taxpayers flee Blue states you won’t be able to afford anything.

      New York is a prime example.

      Cuomo has already cried “we have no moneeee!!!” then went begging to Trump and the Federal Government. Biden won’t be able to afford to help any states knowing his poor financial record as tax revenue will be greatly diminished.

      Glad others are about to leave the country like I did when Obama’s failed ideas were rejected by the insurance industry and folks who couldn’t afford their premiums and penalties lost their insurance.

      You’ll have no jobs, even more people’s careers destroyed to get cheap labor, most everything staying closed due to COVID and higher prices for basic goods. No one can cite policies to the contrary.

      Poor, gullible lefties..

      • TubaMinimum says:

        Just out of curiosity, what country could you possibly have fled to in 2008 to that doesn’t have an even more socialized healthcare system? Or are you still in the US, using Medicare, fighting to keep your socialized medicine while telling others to try harder? Four years in, I’m still waiting for anything even resembling a plan from Republicans to replace the ACA. Last I heard it was to be released any day now.

        • Dustin Nyles says:

          Not sure about the person you’re asking after. However when I renounced my US citizenship, I simply set up another separate savings account through my investment brokerage account which compounds interest. It was easy and not subject to tax as a health savings instrument since it’s not income oriented. I didn’t want any government to limit my healthcare going through Obama’s ridiculous, expensive exchanges so its been terrific and rarely used.

    • Justin Hoplite says:

      I respectfully disagree. There were no bridges built by Trump to any element of the Democratic party during his tenure. I would even argue that Trump and his entourage would laugh at Biden’s kindness if he were to build “bridges.” In essence, they are owed nothing.

    • violafan says:

      You’re totally right Christopher! Biden should get “Lil’ Pump” to play at his inauguration!

    • MAGA 2024 says:

      Sad. Trump will rise again. See you all in 4 years.

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Maybe take Harris’s favorite: Snoop Dog. Or even Tupac. They can pass marijuana around – after all, she was a user and thinks legalization would be good.

  • Lady Gaga, ‘
    Barbara Streisand,
    Lang Lang

    • V.Lind says:

      Might have known you’d be a Trumpist. Here in the west we have elections, and there is a winner and a loser. We have had a huge tradition of losers conceding with grace. I am astonished that ALL his supporters have not deserted the spoiled-brat-in-chief.

      A lot of them are as relieved as the rest of us to have a normal, non-narcissistic, reasonably honest human being in the White House rather than someone proved to have told at least 25,000 lies while in office (well, he’s in his 70s — he had to sleep SOME of the time).

      After all these years of watching with open jaws as he lurched from one self-deluding fantasy to another, we should not be surprised by the unseemly way in which 45 is taking defeat. The only thing that is going to stop him is that if it goes on too long, Ivanka will be tainted by it and in his fantasy world she is a future president.

      So take your sneering music list — three Academy Award winners, odd choices — and a pianist who is denigrated as excessively as he has been praised — and pop them on your turntable. That’s the only place you will be hearing them on Inauguration Day.

      • William Safford says:

        Although there have been way too many racist and bigoted posts to this discussion as well as on this board, I didn’t take that particular one as being offensive.

        Perhaps I’m mistaken, but I took those as reasonable suggestions: Lady Gaga for her activism as well as her musical eclecticism,
        Barbara Streisand for her status as a dame of Broadway, Cher for her activism and support as well as her heritage, and Lang Lang for his virtuosity and his relative familiarity with broader audiences.

      • Greg Bottini says:

        Thank you, Ms. Lind, for the comment I wish I had made.

  • Ben says:

    Use a Native-American!

    It’s their land after all…

    • Inchiquin says:

      They do not recognise a government established by white foreign invaders. They are a tribal people, they don’t identify as “Americans”, they identify by their tribe and territory. If you could just all return to where you all came from and leave them in peace it would be great.

  • Hayne says:

    A little premature, eh?

    • Mark VonLeear says:

      Votes continue to be received, LEGALLY verified and tallied Norman.

      Then the run-off elections commence.

      Plus the litigation regarding fraud at numerous precincts.

      The Left has quite a ways to go before they can “officially” celebrate. Too bad they’re so uneducated going out and spreading COVID being so close together and not wearing masks properly. Oh well!

  • drummerman says:

    How about no music at all?

  • A.L. says:

    Ted Nugent
    Kanye West
    Valery Gergiev
    Anna Netrebko
    Andrea Bocelli

  • Antoine DeLite says:

    He needs to use RAP artists because they’re normally black. Forget classical folks that the base doesn’t listen to.

    • Xavier in California says:

      They’ll be too busy shooting up and smoking weed to notice what’s going on around them.

      It’s normal among those types.

      • V.Lind says:

        Democrats? May I remind you that 74 MILLION people (so far} have voted Democrat?

        So much for listening to Biden’s appeal to be less hostile yo your fellow Americans.

        • Betty Simon says:

          Only LEGAL votes count dear

          Your party’s attempts to accept dead people’s votes and illegal immigrant votes, ballot destruction, ballot alteration, electioneering, supervisory obstruction, etc. are being brought to various courts. Who knows, maybe the US Supreme Court will get a case or two to render opinions on.

          Besides, Biden and Harris endorsed the violence of ANTIFA and BLM so they’ll reap what they’ve sewn.

          Contemplate the hate and violence of your party before you fall into your delusional euphoria of “certainty”…for a change.

          Be sure to mark December 14 on your calendar along with January 20 as well.

          Oh! By the way, the US GSA Administrator has yet to edify the legally valid election results. So you people may have to wait a bit dear. Prayer may help.

          Blessings through Jesus!

          • V.Lind says:

            Not my party, hen. I have never lived in the US.

          • Dave says:

            Some mothers do ‘ave em mate.

          • William Safford says:

            If the Second Coming were to happen in the U.S. today, Jesus would be arrested, his children would be separated from him and his wife, and He would be deported without trial or due process.

            That is the essence of the Administration of the Orange Loser.

            That is how the Blessings of Jesus would be received in 2020 in America.

            Yet the Orange Loser has near-total support from the evangelical Christian voters.

            Most of the Orange Loser’s followers claim to be Christian. Yet how does their support of him comport with the following?

            “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

            –Leviticus 19:34 ESV

            “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me”

            –Matthew 25:35 ESV

            Clearly, they do not hold Christ’s teachings very dear to their hearts.

            They have prostrated themselves before a false prophet, and they have blasphemed in the name of raw political power.

            Biden, a practicing Christian, is going to bring morality back to the Presidency. That will be edifying….

            Oh, BTW, Betty, almost everything you wrote is misdirected. It applies to the Orange Loser, not President-Elect Biden or Vice President-Elect Harris. Violence? MAGA people. Unlawfulness? Illegal goon squads led at the Orange Loser’s orders by Barr. Etc.

          • Max Raimi says:

            Biden got more votes. He won. Sorry, dear.

          • William Safford says:

            The mere fact that Biden got more votes is not dispositive. HRC received several million more votes than the Orange Menace in 2016, but still lost the Electoral College.

            Biden won the Electoral College. Therefore, Biden won the election, and the Orange Loser lost. Biden also won the popular vote by several million, with more votes to be counted, but that is incidental.

          • William Safford says:

            BTW, Max, my previous post was for readers outside of the U.S. You already know all of this.

          • V.Lind says:

            Thanks, mate, but some of us outside the United States know this very well.

            I am more concerned about certification in Republican-run states. Katherine Harris was in the pocket of the Bush campaign in 2000 — had been state chair or some such –and I am concerned that Trump has federalised the recount processes and the legal challenges that belong to the states. This whole endeavour should not be politicised, but is is in the US, from voter to judges.

          • William Safford says:

            That is a valid concern, certification in Republican-led states.

            This process should not be politicized, but in many cases it is.

          • Greg Bottini says:

            You are a very ill woman, Betty Simon.
            You have drunk deeply from the poisoned Trump Kool-Aid well and it has affected your mind and your heart.
            I pity you as I do all MAGAts.

          • William Safford says:

            Oh! By the way, Betty, the US GSA Administrator did ratify the legally valid election results–that is to say, the election results. Biden will be our next President. Prayer may have helped.

    • Max Raimi says:

      I play in the Chicago Symphony. It may surprise you to learn that many of us listen to classical music, even in our free time, and are overwhelmingly (although, to be fair, not quite unanimously) Democrats. As educated voters went overwhelmingly for Biden, it is clear that the lion’s share of people who love classical music were part of “the base”, and you have no idea what you are talking about. I would use a fake name too, if I were writing such gibberish.

  • Beckmesser says:

    John Williams wrote the Variations on a Shaker Hymn performed at Obama’s inauguration, though I’d enjoy hearing Adams’ take on it.

  • NO CROWDS! says:

    He can’t endanger large groups of people with the pandemic numbers growing again. Sorry, too irresponsible Norman.

    • William Safford says:

      I agree with your general sentiment, but not in this specific instance.

      Individual musicians can be socially-distanced. Plus, the inauguration is held outdoors, which reduces the risk substantially.

      • Stop the Spread! says:

        That’s a great way to segregate folks instead of encouraging a super-spreader event like an expensive inauguration Bill.

        They all need to listen to the CDC and STAY LOCKED UP AT HOME!

        Meanwhile scientists are seeing spikes in the US again. The riots and irresponsible Democrat crowds in the streets have been excellent breeding grounds for COVID. So many uneducated lefties getting themselves sick and wearing masks improperly.

        • V.Lind says:

          There were quite a lot of Republicans out there screaming “Count the vote” or “Stop the count,” depending upon where they lived. So give it up.

          • Gale Kelso says:

            The violent rioters and stupid Biden people clogging up areas have driven the COVID Numbers up.

            You aren’t educated in US matters V.Lind so stay out of it.

          • V.Lind says:

            I may not live in the US, but have been getting an education in things American since I was 9.

          • Dave says:

            Coca Cola great for removing limescale and cleaning brass door knockers, but don’t ever drink it, it is as corrosive as brake fluid.

        • William Safford says:

          Actually, there has been a strong correlation between the rallies held by the Orange Loser and sharp increases in COVID-19 cases where they were held.

          My guess is that part of the reason is the refusal to wear masks by Republicans, generally speaking.

          Democrats tend to follow medical and scientific advice and wear masks, which helps to reduce the spread of the virus elsewhere.

          That said, I wonder how the inauguration will be handled. It’s a valid point to wonder, especially if the crowd size is closer to that of Obama’s huge first inauguration than the comparatively sparsely-attended inauguration of the Orange Loser.

    • BruceB says:

      I didn’t see where Norman says anything about crowds.

  • Captain Birdseye says:

    The US election farce made painting drying look fascinating. America really is 57 varieties, just as it say on the Heinz tin!

    Glad I don’t have to live there. Will his 4 years just be a series of box ticking and virtue signalling exercises and reversing what the fella with the orange wig did?

    • Terry says:

      The fella with the Orange wig, I hear the wife wants a divorce settlement after he lost the election. The dirty digger has already jumped ship and backed Biden.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Yes. But, above all, they’ve got to punish the white working class males for not being better people. And they’ll continue shining the torch into this cohort’s eyes. At least they waited until after the white working class males had run towards danger and given up their lives to save their class betters during 9/11 when they ran up those towers. Fortunately this sentiment wasn’t around either when these same white working class were slaughtered on Omaha, Sword and Juno beaches in 1944.

      Oh, and what happened to social distancing and ‘super spreaders’? It’s all suddenly disappeared during the parties and victory celebrations. Covid19 was a useful election tool.

      The left = epic hypocrisy.

      • V.Lind says:

        As I mentioned above (and specified, though there were lots of crowds — usually maskless — elsewhere — I can currently hear a report of them chanting “Go Home Joe” ) — there are a few Trump voters out in groups too. Don’t let your bigotry totally blind you to actual facts — you might end up in a traffic accident if you are incapable of seeing ALL that’s around you.

        Your beloved non-left Prez is planning more rallies — RALLIES — around his totally misplaced legal challenges. How responsible is that? His crowd tends not to like masks.

        Trump is behaving like the biggest girl’s blouse in history. And his moronic fan club clearly does not actually believe in democracy. I have absolutely no objection to thee recounts or the court challenges (aside, in the latter case, for the waste of court time if the grounds are not there, as they have not been so far).

        I suspect this is less about presidential pride — though that will be there — than about losing his immunity to prosecution the minute he walks out those gates.

        • William Safford says:

          Their bigotry blinds them to the facts.

          That’s a major reason why the Orange Loser still got so many millions of votes.

          Re immunity to prosecution: just watch him go into exile to a country with no extradition treaty with the U.S. Or, jail.

          • V.Lind says:

            Or, more likely, giving himself a blanket pardon, something within his power to do. (Until he commits another one, which is likely).

            He can wreak a lot of damage in the next 11 — 10 now — weeks, and it will include some nasty pardons more than likely.

            Of his potential damage, it may be mitigated by him taking a load of time to play golf, and even more on these fantastical lawsuits.

          • William Safford says:

            Here are a few technical details about the pardon power.

            It is an open question as to whether the Orange Loser can self-pardon. He can definitely pardon anyone else (except in cases of impeachment, which is not relevant here).

            But himself? No President has ever self-pardoned. It would probably trigger legal action that would go to the Supreme Court. The conservative textualists on the Court would say that he can, due to the wording of the applicable clause in the Constitution. However, the conservative originalists would look to the original intent of the Founding Fathers, which would move the needle towards denying any President the right of self-pardon. The liberals on the court would probably align with the originalists.

            Now, what the Orange Corrupter can definitely do to get around this, is to resign before his term ends, have Vice President Pence be sworn in as President, then President Pence could pardon the Orange Colluder. Of course, that would require collusion between them. That would be profoundly unethical, but legal (AFAIK).

            President Biden could pardon the Orange Menace, but Biden is on record that he will not do so.

            So, all of the above shows that the Orange Accused Rapist could be pardoned. But, there’s a huge catch.

            Under the Constitution, the President can pardon someone only for Federal crimes.

            In the case of the Orange Toddler, that does not get him all the way off the hook.

            There are a number of state-level criminal investigations underway: definitely in New York state, probably in other states as well.

            There are state-level lawsuits proceeding against him.

            The President cannot pardon State-level crimes.

            The Felonious Orange One is at serious risk for being tried and convicted of state-level felonies and misdemeanors, as well as torts. He could theoretically be arrested the moment he is no longer President. (Just watch Federal law be changed as soon as the Democrats have control over both Houses of Congress, to eliminate the protection against the arrest of the President while in office. It is based on a memorandum from about fifty years ago, not law or precedent.)

            Only the Governor of New York state could pardon the Orange Baby for any crimes in New York state. Ditto any other governor of any other state where the Orange Defendant would be charged. The New York governor won’t.

            As for your comment about the Orange Tantrum wreaking damage: you are correct. He has already initiated doing a great deal of damage on his way out. Time will tell how bad it will be.

          • V.Lind says:

            Thank you for that erudite and very clear outlining of one of the Twit-meister’s problems. Orange may be the new clothes for this particular emperor in the near future!

          • William Safford says:

            The U.S. has an additional problem.

            The Orange Blabbermouth possesses a great deal of top secret knowledge, as do all current and ex-Presidents.

            This makes him an enormous intelligence risk to our country. What would stop him from spilling the beans on all sorts of state secrets?

            He could do so to make money, to gain forgiveness on his hundreds of millions of dollars of debts, because he could be extorted, to show off, because he truly is a Russian asset, or just as revenge on America for refusing to reelect him to a second term.

            He has already spilled the beans on several occasions: to show off to Putin and other world leaders, to attack his domestic enemies, and because he’s just slipshod.

            The intelligence community must be bald by now for pulling their hair out over this.

            To the best of my knowledge, we have never faced the problem of a security risk ex-President. Even Reagan, who started to go senile in office and thus would not have been responsible for his actions, did not leak any secrets that we know of.

            Now, we do. What do we do about it?

          • Max Raimi says:

            He can’t pardon himself from crimes against the state of New York. And they are hot on his tail.

          • Greg Bottini says:

            Dear Ms. Lind,
            I think it is still being debated by legal analysts whether or not the Tangerine Traitor can give himself a blanket pardon in advance of his January 21st date with the prosecutors.
            I sincerely hope he plays TONS of golf between now and then!
            – regards, Greg

        • William Safford says:

          Here’s an additional thought, one that hadn’t occurred to me previously.

          The Orange Prevaricator may also be at legal risk in other countries.

          I wonder what would happen if another country were to attempt to extradite him. Or, if he were to be arrested while in another country?

    • Greg Bottini says:

      Captain Birdseye, I’m glad you don’t have to live here too!

    • violafan says:

      Where do you live, Captain?

      I’m guessing somewhere with universal healthcare 😉

  • Concertgoer says:

    It’s “Orchestra Hall” in Chicago.

    And of course Biden will need to retain an electoral college lead once the many vote-count challenges are settled by the Supreme Court before he makes inauguration plans.

    In 2000 the presidency was not decided until Dec. 12 when only “hanging chads” in three or four Florida counties were at issue. Now the stakes involve alleged mass coordinated fraud in five large metros in as many states, buggy tabulation software besides, control of the U.S. Senate (for what goes in the presidential goes in both Georgia races too), and the need to convincingly arrive at fairness in the eyes of 71 million ardent and broadly armed Republican voters with law-enforcement agencies on their spiritual-political if not actual side. The point man, it seems, will be Samuel Alito.

  • John says:

    The arrangement of Simple Gifts for the Obama Inauguration was done by John Williams, not John Adams.

  • Tamara says:

    It suits Biden to have his biggest supporters perform.
    I’m excited for Lady Gaga, John Legend, and Beyoncé. Whoopi Goldberg and Chelsea Handler can host.

  • frank says:

    Melania Trump is once again available to perform her famous “snake dance” , previously available only to her paying customers.

    • V.Lind says:

      I wonder how long it will be before the divorce papers are filed…or if she will be content to be Widow-in-Waiting.

  • nonbarihunk says:

    American-Irish tenor Stephen Costello or American-Irish mezzo Joyce Di Donato?

    • Richard Cumming-Bruce says:

      Joyce would indeed be appropriate in all sorts of ways but I think she is based in Barcelona, which probably matters in these pandemic-ridden days.

  • Peter says:

    The work that quartet played at Obama’s inaugural is “Air and Simple Gifts” by John Williams, not John Adams.

  • phf655 says:

    Due to the pandemic, and Trump’s probable non-attendance, the Biden inauguration will probably be different from what is traditional. Also, your characterization of Biden’s attitude to the arts is unfair, based on this recent article in the New York Times:


    Also I do not recall any outward manifestation of an Obama interest in classical music during his eight years in the White House, beyond the invitations to perform at the inauguration. Obama’s and, particularly Michelle’s, tastes seem to run to jazz.

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    “The same cannot be said of Joe Biden. who trades on his blue-collar Delaware origins.”

    Yes what America needs at the moment is much less blue-collar Delaware philistinism and more of the Obama like Symphony Hall patrician politics.

  • St Patrick's Aunt says:

    The famous Irish raconteur Dave Allen has some very useful advice for a would be political leader.


  • Anon says:

    Shit you not…unlike all of my other gigs, I will honestly practice this time. Please nominate me.

  • Michael says:

    It should be baritone Sidney Outlaw, one of Kamala Harris’ biggest and most vocal boosters. He also sings about the rich history of black America.

    • Erin Marsh says:

      As a racist, Harris wants only blacks around her so that seems sensible.

      They could make fun of Biden and make him feel guilty for his Catholic roots too!

  • papageno says:

    how about a white all-American musician?

    • V.Lind says:

      Is Ms. Harris not “all-American”?

      • BruceB says:

        Papageno has turned into a troll, i.e. saying things just to get a reaction. If we keep responding, he will keep doing it.

        (OK, well if not an actual troll, then someone who has lately posted only trollish comments… if the distinction is important.)

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      What a scandalous idea! Original sin must be felt at every level.

  • Gustavo says:

    John Williams:
    “American Journey”

    • Lou Goldfarb says:

      They’re socialists so no.

      – For those downvoting, enjoy your last days of freedom and ability to afford what you want as you go on welfare unless you’re on it already.

      • William Safford says:

        “A lady asked Dr. [Benjamin] Franklin: “Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy.’ “A republic,’ replied the Doctor, ‘if you can keep it.’”

        This election saved the U.S. from fascism. We keep our Republic, at least for the next four years.

        • William Safford says:

          Two people gave me thumbs-down.

          Apparently, at least two people support converting America into a fascist state.

          Who are you? Are you man or woman enough to show your faces and names?

      • Gustavo says:

        “American Journey” was commissioned by Bill Clinton.


        1 – “Immigration and Building”
        2 – “The Country at War”
        3 – “Popular Entertainment”
        4 – “Arts and Sports”
        5 – “Civil Rights and the Women’s Movement”
        6 – “Flight and Technology”



  • Schoenberglover says:

    Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Joyce DiDonato or Jamie Barton to sing?

  • Alank says:

    Your ignorance on this subject is astounding. Obama did nothing for the serious arts. He had as his NEA administrator a Broadway producer. The party you so admire considers Beethoven white supremacist. Sorry MR Lebrecht you are another deluded progressive.

    • William Safford says:

      Your ignorance on this subject is astounding.

      Obama, with Biden’s assistance, helped protect federal programs such as the National Endowment of the Arts from cancellation by the Republicans. He brought the National Symphony to perform at his first state dinner. And more.

      Your bias is not astounding, but it is showing. The white supremacist incumbent just lost the election. Now we celebrate President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Harris.

    • Nydo says:

      Your comment isn’t supported by the actual facts, but could you provide us with some examples of Trump’s support for the arts?

  • Why, Weird Al Yankovic of course! Multi-culti to the core:
    a genius in Polish polkas, features many black performers in his videos, and is a brilliant musical craftsman himself, top rank, right up there with the Beatles.

  • sam says:

    NWA: Fuck Tha Police.

    • Corinne Northworth says:

      Makes one wonder how these politicians will fare when the armed officers they take for granted to protect them slip up or pull no shows letting them fend for themselves.

      Poor America going the way of the EU!

  • Le Křenek du jour says:

    Jennifer Warnes and Judy Collins,
    to perform Leonard Cohen’s ‘Democracy’.

    A stark and visionary reminder:

    It’s coming from the sorrow in the street
    The holy places where the races meet
    From the homicidal bitchin’
    That goes down in every kitchen
    To determine who will serve and who will eat
    From the wells of disappointment
    Where the women kneel to pray
    For the grace of God in the desert here
    And the desert far away
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A

    It’s coming to America first
    The cradle of the best and of the worst
    It’s here they got the range
    And the machinery for change
    And it’s here they got the spiritual thirst
    It’s here the family’s broken
    And it’s here the lonely say
    That the heart has got to open
    In a fundamental way
    Democracy is coming to the U.S.A

    (Maybe it’s worth remebering that Leonard Cohen died the night before Trump was elected…)

    • Tiredofitall says:

      Yes to Judy Collins. How Joan Baez or (not joking) Dolly Parton? Definitely not Fleming or Graham. We’re not that starved.

    • Matthew Jones says:

      Just wait until the subject of REPARATIONS is put forth!

      Let’s see how much African-Americans and Jews will have to fork over as their slave trader and broker roots are unearthed. Africans sold their own criminals off and Jews picked up the growing trade industry. American blacks have it too good to deal with the REAL Africa so that’s why they stay. Then people wonder why Israel discriminates so much against refugees. You don’t see any black faces amongst their culture or media like Forward, JTA, Jewish Journal, etc. They are sure good at keeping those types OUT!

      Soon the American blacks and Jews will face their history with Kamala leading the way. Exciting!

  • Sam McElroy says:

    American resident, Irish tenor Anthony Kearns. A beautiful singer, perfect for such a “people’s” occasion. This from Memorial Day, Washington DC: https://youtu.be/NrGOu61UIx0

  • William Safford says:

    I haven’t read anything about President-Elect Biden’s preferences in classical music.

    I have read about his support of the arts in terms of protecting programs such as the National Endowment of the Arts, but nothing about what he likes to listen to. It might be good symbolism to hire musicians who have been supported by the programs that Biden has helped to protect.

    There is no shortage of composers, instrumentalists, and singers who can rise to the occasion. Of course, considering the pandemic, many possibilities such as choirs and orchestras are out of the question. For the same reason, young musicians should probably be given priority.

    Others have pointed out that someone with an Irish background would align with his Irish ancestry. Perhaps compositions by Irish or Irish-American composers would resonate with him.

    On the popular side, several names come to mind:

    – Bruce Springsteen, to align with Biden’s blue collar roots

    -Tony Bennett, as a living great and a connection to the past greats — videotaped, of course, to protect him from the virus (he appeared briefly on Colbert the other day!)

    -Lin-Manuel Miranda, since Biden loves Broadway shows as well as for other obvious reasons.

    And a bunch of others: Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Cher, Elton John, and many more. Perhaps someone less obvious, such as Justin Vernon. For someone on the younger side, how about Esperanza Spalding.

    • Garech de Brun says:

      Biden is not an Irish name, he would have to change it to O’Biden or McBiden, even then it would sound fake to us since neither are known in Ireland.

      • William Safford says:

        That is irrelevant.

        “Jean… (née Finnegan) [Biden’s mother] was of Irish descent, while Joseph Sr. had English, French, and Irish ancestry.”

    • Garech de Brun says:

      Biden is an English surname from Somerset, it is unknown in Ireland.

      • V.Lind says:

        His great-grandfather, who emigrated, was a Finnegan. Marriages change names.

        • norman lebrecht says:

          Would that be Michael, the one with hirsuteness issues?

        • St Patrick's Aunt says:

          Of course, however that does not make him Irish mate, Garech is correct he should know his family have lived here since 1170 AD. Biden is American not Irish.

        • Garech be Brun says:

          Finnegan is the name of a Dublin hod carrier who fell off a ladder building a wall.


          Tim Finnegan lived in Walkin Street,
          a gentle Irishman mighty odd
          He had a brogue both rich and sweet,
          an’ to rise in the world he carried a hod
          You see he’d a sort of a tipplers way
          but the love for the liquor poor Tim was born
          To help him on his way each day,
          he’d a drop of the craythur every morn

          Whack fol the dah now dance to yer
          partner around the flure yer trotters shake
          Wasn’t it the truth I told you?
          Lots of fun at Finnegan’s Wake

          One morning Tim got rather full,
          his head felt heavy which made him shake
          Fell from a ladder and he broke his skull,
          and they carried him home his corpse to wake
          Rolled him up in a nice clean sheet,
          and laid him out upon the bed
          A bottle of whiskey at his feet
          and a barrel of porter at his head


          His friends assembled at the wake,
          and Mrs Finnegan called for lunch
          First she brought in tay and cake,
          then pipes, tobacco and whiskey punch
          Biddy O’Brien began to cry,
          “Such a nice clean corpse, did you ever see
          Tim avourneen, why did you die?”,
          “Will ye hould your gob?” said Paddy McGee


          Then Maggie O’Connor took up the job,
          “Biddy” says she “you’re wrong, I’m sure”
          Biddy gave her a belt in the
          gob and left her sprawling on the floor
          Then the war did soon engage,
          t’was woman to woman and man to man
          Shillelagh law was all the rage
          and a row and a ruction soon began


          Mickey Maloney ducked his head when
          a bucket of whiskey flew at him
          It missed, and falling on the bed,
          the liquor scattered over Tim
          Bedad he revives, see how he rises,
          Timothy rising from the bed
          Saying “Whittle your whiskey around
          like blazes, t’underin’ Jaysus, do ye think I’m dead?”

  • Curvy Hong Glove says:

    I understand Kamala is a big fan of Snoop Dogg.

  • Garech de Brun says:

    Perhaps they could ask Sir Thomas Beecham to conduct Vaughan Williams, both are presently on tour above I believe!


  • Garech de Brun says:

    Biden’s speech team urgently need to study Henry V,’s St Crispin, monologue closely. That is if he is rouse the multitude from his predecessor’s slumber.

    Remember politics is 90% presentation 10% content.


  • Cammy says:

    Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones,
    André Watts, Leontyne Price, Oakland Symphony Orchestra, Pentatonix, Kronos Quartet

  • Jessica Pastrami says:

    It should be a symphony orchestra made up of entirely LGBTQ2+ individuals playing contemporary works written by women of colour.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I nominate the rapper 50 Cent. Obama will have to run the ruler over it, though.

  • Geezer says:

    Why not just have the Black and White Minstrels, they were very popular in the 1960s. I seem to recall Bertie Wooster sang with a banjo band.


  • Wanna bet he opens with Fanfare for the Common Man

  • Mimsie says:

    Jennifer Huson could perform a tribute to Aretha Franklin. Then Andrea Bocelli and Cecilia Bartoli could perform their new hit. Lang Lang, Gaga, The Rolling Stones.

  • papageno says:

    interesting headline photo of Perlman and Obama. You’ve got to have an aberrant physical or sexual condition in order to be recognized in today’s PC world. Merits alone are no longer enough.

  • Mark says:

    How about Neal Young singing “Old Man” for Joe and Madonna singing “Bad Girl” for Kamamala ?

  • J Kaznowski says:

    While people note how old the president-elect is, I see he’s literally five days younger than Barenboim (both born in Nov 1942). Maybe a possibility, after all DB has actually been doing some practice recently

  • John William’s arrangement of “The Promise of Living” from Copland’s The Tenderland. Well, maybe not. The work was an expression of the social democracy common among American intellectuals in the 1930s, and their interest in facing American farmers. Copland, like so many other Americans cultural leaders, was later hauled before HUAC. Social democractic thought was purged from American society. The work and arrangement are truly remarkable. Listen here (even if the video is a bit kitsch at times):


    • Ross Amico says:

      I’ve always been fond of this piece. In the opera, it’s presented as a quintet at the end of Act I. The original melody was borrowed from a revivalist song, “Zion’s Walls,” which can be heard in the second set of Copland’s “Old American Songs.” Thanks for the link. Good music for Thanksgiving.

  • Edward says:

    I’m not sure that Mr Biden will be able to stay awake for his swearing-in ceremony if indeed the final recounts bring America to the brink of this disaster. Frightening to think that the United States is about to become the world’s largest banana republic. And that otherwise intelligent people thought he is someone who was worthy to hold high office. The only music he recognises is the sound of a cash-register adding wealth to his and his family’s bank accounts.

    • V.Lind says:

      You people are funny about age. HMQ stood throughout the Cenotaph ceremony yesterday, without flinching or faltering.

      Nicholas Parsons performed until a very short time before his death at 94. And if you had not known, you would not have known — his vice was as strong and effective as anyone on the radio.

      77 is, after all, only three years older than the incumbent, whose fan club is urging him to run again in 2024 should he not be able to keep his lollipop.

      What was frightening was to elect that tweeter, whom most of the world has expressed relief to see the back of as his own selfish and ignorant unpredictabilities made him very dangerous.

    • William Safford says:

      I’m not sure that Mr Trump will be able to stay awake for Mr. Biden’s swearing-in ceremony if indeed the final recounts keep America away from disaster. Frightening to think that the United States almost became the world’s largest banana republic. And that otherwise intelligent people thought that Trump was someone who was worthy to hold high office. The only music he recognizes is the sound of a cash-register adding wealth to his and his family’s bank accounts.


  • Suzanne says:

    Kit Armstrong, Joyce DiDonato, Sophia Burgos, Kirill Gerstein, Roderick Cox, Connor Chee plus Wynford Marsalis would make a great line-up.

  • Nick says:

    1. Do not count chickens before they hatch!’
    2. Biden is a much a classical music connoisseur as Trump, except he hears and comprehends much less than Trump.
    3. A military brass band would seem to be in order, IF!!! And this is still a big IF!

  • CA says:

    Blue Man Group can be the opening act. Just kidding….

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Aaron Copland, Lincoln Portrait, with Mitt Romney as narrator: “Fellow Citizens, we cannot escape history…”

  • David Kinlay says:

    A broad range of people from a variety of backgrounds would be nice

  • Greg says:

    Whomever Biden picks, you can rest assured his choice will be based on skin color rather than ability. Just like his VP choice. Pandering is his game. Maybe he can just come out and play ‘Despacito’ on his phone again. Fraud.

    • William Safford says:

      Let’s remember that the Orange Loser was chosen by his supporters for his skin color rather than ability. That’s why we have had a kakistocracy for the last four years.

      • Greg says:

        Beg to differ. Trump ran against another white person. He was chosen because his white opponent was (and remains) a vile, detestable, hateful, arrogant, lying, and utterly repugnant person of dubious qualifications herself.

        • William Safford says:

          Which flavor Kool-Aid did you drink?

          Those who voted for the Orange Menace voted for his white supremacist message. Those who voted for HRC voted for competence.

    • Roger says:

      In Ireland we like to employ our relatives, they are usually the best candidates irrespective of ability!

      In the US being a real melting pot of a place one has to tick as many equality boxes as possible to ensure re-election.

  • Danderj@mail.com says:

    Well at least they have got rid of the fella with the orange wig. He really was full of wind and piss!

    • Kevin says:

      Wind and piss is what all politicians produce. They don’t all have to wear orange wigs. I am sure Biden is full of it too.

      • William Safford says:

        It can be argued that just about anyone who thinks that he is worthy of being elected President is, by definition, at least a bit full of himself.

        The difference? Biden can back it up. He is competent and experienced. The Orange Toddler is not.

  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    Wynton Marsalis would be an obvious choice except he would need to learn a new instrument. Anything relating to trumpets, especially those of the piccolo (brain) variety, would be clearly inappropriate.

  • MacroV says:

    Who will play? Everybody who is anybody. It won’t be like with Obama – social distancing and Pete Seeger is no longer with us – but at least we’ll have none of the D-listers who played for Trump.

  • Maria says:

    Probably an Irish Ceili Band, given all the publicity about his Irish roots we’ve been getting on the television and in the newspapers.

    • Garech de Brun says:

      What Irish roots? He is as Irish as a VW Polo.

      Biden is a surname unknown in Ireland. It originates from Somerset. He may indeed have a great great great great grandfather from the famine called Finnegan, but that does not make him Irish.

      • St Patrick's Aunt says:

        Yes when these elections happen in US they all say they are “Oirish” begorra, I am and my arse.

        You never hear any of them ever say they are German, Italian, Slovakian, Indian, Russian, Mexican etc.

        • William Safford says:

          Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris is of Indian descent. This has been mentioned more than once.

          For that matter, current First Lady Melania Trump is Slovakian. She is, in fact, only the second foreign-born First Lady in U.S. history.

          IOW, you are wrong.

          • V.Lind says:

            Melania is Slovenian. I do not rate her as a very principled person in some ways — not usually the MO of trophy wives/gold-diggers — but she needn’t be tarred with that particular brush.

            I have always thought that her pre-nup must be a bit shaky. She sticks it to protect her son.

          • William Safford says:

            Thanks for the correction. I mistyped.

            Re pre-nup: it has been reported in a recent book about Melania, that the reason why she delayed her arrival in the White House after the Orange Enemy of the People was inaugurated, was that she was in the process of renegotiating her pre-nup. Reportedly she did so in large part to protect their son Barron’s inheritance and place in the family business.

            That tells us a great deal about them.

          • V.Lind says:

            I’ve read that too. Suggests she does plan a divorce — his end to secure her demands, hers to stick out the presidency.

          • Garech de Brun says:

            No,in the US the PR Irish blarney kitsch campaigns they use to get elected seems to work, it would work if it was Slovakian, Indian etc.

          • Garech de Brun says:

            I think you have entirely missed the point, in US elections they always try to canvas the “Irish” vote as a block, the others are splintered across various ethnic divisions.

        • Go William!! says:

          Kamala herself, the DNC, CNN, MSNBC, msm outlets and black people need to be educated by William Safford. He is claiming Kamala is not black.

          Kamala SOLD herself as black along with the Left and media.

          William Safford needs to go over to CNN right now and direct his tirades against THEM after his psychiatric session and med check today!!!

          He certainly knows more and comments more than Norman does…..

          Here’s one of numerous sources:
          “Kamala Harris shows Black women they have the power to change the world
          Opinion by Roxanne Jones
          Updated 8:13 AM EST, Tue November 10, 2020”


          • William Safford says:

            False, and you know it.

            Kamala Harris has both Black and (Asian) Indian ancestry. This has been made clear numerous times in many sources.

            She is an example of the melting pot that is one of the strengths of the U.S.

            But people like her terrify white supremacists. Are you one of them?

          • Sanford is Republican! says:

            You are admitting CNN is lying??

            I figured you for a Trump supporter all along with your Donald fetish


          • V.Lind says:

            I have known since I first heard her name that she was born of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father.

      • Finbarr says:

        No and also he cannot speak any Irish. Once they all left Ireland they just became 57 variety Yanks.

      • Ulick Magee says:

        LOL, a VW Polo is German! Yes once across the pond they just become 57 varieties.

  • EricB says:

    Isn’t that a bit preposterous to ask?