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Obama greets young musicians(credit: Rick McKay/White House photo office)
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The Obamas’ classical soirée

Classical music has long had a place in various White House administrations. Igor Stravinsky and Pablo Casals were invited by the Kennedys; Van Cliburn has performed for every American president from Harry Truman to George W Bush. But on November 4, it felt entirely as if a new era for the performing arts had arrived in Washington, DC, when President and Mrs Obama hosted more than 150 middle and high school players from all over the US, as well as master artists, at the White House for an official afternoon and evening dedicated to classical music.

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