Depending on the weather, Yo-Yo Ma may not take the stage today at President Obama’s Inauguration with the instrument that we’d all expect: His $2 million 1733 Montagnana cello.
Instead, he may use a $7,139 cello that’s only slightly less impressive.
That’s because his other option is a cello made entirely of carbon fiber from a company called Luis and Clark, since it’s designed to withstand the cold much better than a priceless wooden piece of history. The carbon fiber cello, which is just part of the carbon fiber suite of instruments that Luis and Clark makes, including a viola, violin and bass, was also in the hands of the Joint Service Orchestra’s string section during Sunday’s “We Are One” concert, the first time ever a major orchestra had exclusively used carbon fiber string instruments in concert, and will probably be seen more as musicians discover the benefits of the futuristic material.
Unlike a wooden cello, the Luis and Clark carbon fiber cello has a single-piece body, neck and peg box with no scroll at the top, and is designed to resist the effects of temperature and humidity without loosing the sound that top cello players demand.
[Via: New York Times]