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The last time Yo-Yo Ma played in D.C. was for Obama’s inauguration last January. Except he didn’t play; along with violinist Itzhak Perlman, clarinetist Anthony McGill, and pianist Gabriela Montero, he actually pantomimed the entire performance while a prerecording of the John Williams composition played over loudspeakers. Not that you could blame them: Had they performed live, the subzero temperatures would have warped their instruments—and the piece—beyond recognition. And putting on a good show is precisely what makes Ma the most famous cellist in the world. His strained expressions and the exaggerated manner in which he moves his body as he draws his bow across the strings may be totally unnecessary. But at the very least, he’s having a good time.
YO-YO MA PERFORMS WITH THE NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 8 P.M. AT THE KENNEDY CENTER, 2700 F ST. NW. SOLD OUT. (800) 444-1324.