Shocking: UK shuts out international virtuoso

Shocking: UK shuts out international virtuoso


norman lebrecht

August 12, 2016

The great Indian classical musician Amjad Alī Khān has been refused a visa for Britain, where he has performed almost annually for 45 years.

He was due to give a concert at the South Bank Centre on September 18.

The sarod virtuoso, who is 70, tweeted that he is ‘shocked and appalled’.

So are we.

And ashamed to belong to a country that can capriciously slam the door on great artists.

In a further tweet he adds: ‘Extremely sad for artists who are spreading the message of love & peace.’


amjad ali khan

Please contact your MP to raise the injustice with the Home Office.



  • NYMike says:

    Have you imported Trump???

  • Ross says:

    Why would UK refuse a visa to a guy like that? Makes no sense…

    • John Borstlap says:

      I bet it was the suspicious shapes of his instruments that seemed to the authorities a risk too big to take, especially in combination with some outrageous ragas he was going to perform that could inspire the British Indians to destructive thoughts.

  • Bank Erupt says:

    The visa quota has evidently been already exceeded by the last wave of non-EU migrants.

  • V.Lind says:

    Indeed– without a reason, it would be silly to protest. I suspect with one it would be a duty.

  • Holly Golightly says:

    Are you suggesting that because somebody is a musician that he/she is a better type of human being than ordinary non-musical people? Because that’s certainly the inference here. And it’s straight discrimination.

    • V.Lind says:

      Surely the suggestion is that a well-known individual who has entered the country regularly for decades has suddenly been refused. Any potential discrimination, it would seem, is because he is “foreign.” As he is Indian, there may be a religious element. Who knows? That’s what a couple of us have asked. If he is accused, or suspected, of anything alien to UK interests, surely his following here deserves to know.

      If not, why is he refused entry that has previously been easily available?

  • Fritz Curzon says:

    Written to my MP about this incompetent, ignorant decision.

  • John Borstlap says:

    This seems to be one of the first signs of the post-brexit mentality of the UK. Especially strange since Inda, Pakistan and Bangladesh are former British colonies, with strong ties to the UK.

  • Saxon Broken says:

    Perhaps the application wasn’t filed in properly. And if there is a new application it would be accepted.

  • Linda Blandford says:

    I contacted my MP Karen Buck and I received a phone call from her office. Apparently, she has no legal authority at the Home Office – so much for the standing of Parliament. I was advised that Mr Khan should consult the Home Office website. You couldn’t make it up.