African-American Anthony McGill performed on the clarinet; French-born Chinese-American Yo-Yo Ma was the cellist; and Itzhak Perlman, born in Tel Aviv, was the violinist. The pianist was Gabriela Montero, who lives in the US, but is a native of Venezuela.
The music was Air and Simple Gifts by John Williams, the composer of a many a film score from Star Wars to Schindler's List, and it was composed especially for the occasion.
I thought that the music fit the occasion well. The air was thick with emotion and the somber music, which seemed to ask the listener to be quiet and reflect, was was good match. The music prepared us for Obama's address, which was sobering and serious but still allowed us to celebrate (at least a little bit!).
Click here to read an article regarding Yo-Yo Ma's reaction to be asked to perform at the Inaugural ceremonies.
Photo: Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma and Anthony McGill play during the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters