Austrian pianist cancels US tour due to visa issues

Austrian pianist cancels US tour due to visa issues


norman lebrecht

January 30, 2017

The outstanding young pianist Nareh Arghamanyan has just posted this message:

I am very sorry to tell that due to unforeseen visa and boarder circumstances, I am forced to cancel the upcoming Tour in USA and Canada.

Sad for her, sad for the orchestras and audiences.

Nareh is Armenian by birth, Austrian by residence. Still in her 20s, she is extensively recorded.


  • Hilary says:

    At the very least, Trump is proving to be a disappointment in his first week of being President.

  • Paul says:

    many, perhaps even the majority, of us Americans are truly sorry and embarrassed by what is happening in our government. Please accept our heartfelt apology.

  • L.F. says:

    Armenia is the oldest Christian nation in the world and not Muslim. It would be interesting to find out if the Trump administration is conscious of this fact.

  • Alexander says:

    Was she originally a citizen of Armenia, or does she belong to the Armenian minority in Iran? If she was not born an Iranian citizen this presumably has nothing to do with the executive order.

    • Alexander says:

      She was in fact born in Armenia. It is possible that I don’t adequately understand the implications of the order.

    • L.F. says:

      According to Wikipedia she was born in Wanadsor, Armenia. From the age of eight she studied in the Armenian capital Eriwan and at the age of fifteen she entered the music university of Vienna. 2008 she won the Montreal competition and has played a lot of concerts with good orchestras in Europe and USA (also Tanglewood, Marlboro). So where is the problem?

      • Scott Fields says:

        She mentioned on visa problems and border problems, which I assume are visa problems. As far as I can tell, she didn’t mention the new seven-country-unless-you’re-Christian ban.

        The USA artist-visa application process is Kafkaesque. Perhaps that is what tripped her up.

        • Alexander says:

          I see. the first three comments seemed to suggest that this was connected with the wider current issue, but presumably she has come up against some other visa problem. It’s odd that she has also cancelled engagements in Canada, which I should have imagined had simpler visa arrangements (if only because almost every western country presumably does).

          • DIMITRI VASSILAKIS says:

            Well mentioned ! I do not think that Mr . Trump has already invaded Canada and decides who will enter that country !

          • Nick says:

            The girl apparently got into the “wrong wave” of President Trump recent Executive Order.
            While the Left is all on its toes about the basic constitutional duty of any president to protect the country’s population, the Armenian pianist’s visa problem has nothing to do the presidential ban on 7 countries.
            She just happened to get into the wrong place at the wrong time. S**t happens, as they say.
            The fact that NL decided to publish this case at the time of American Left’s riots and unruly behavior speaks volumes of NL. But it is his blog, not up to me to criticize him.

  • Brian Taylor Goldstein says:

    Unless she had a passport from one of the 7 countries on President Voldemort’s list, then her visa issues may have had another basis. The process was, indeed, Kafkaesque long before Trump got his hands on it. Regardless, it is yet another embarrassment in what I anticipate will be forthcoming string of horribles coming from the US.

  • esfir ross says:

    It become a good career promoting trick.

  • Nick says:

    Ms. Arghamanyan is simply stupid and politically indoctrinated by the Left propaganda. She is Armenian (a predominantly Christian country) and she has an Austrian passport. Her concert tours ARE NOT AFFECTED by any limitations imposed by the US. She has nothing to do with any banned countries involved. She just wants to make a political statement, pretending to be offended, like all the liberals, or simply did not prepare the program for the concerts properly.
    Besides, she is not that “star” that America regrets not having. Pianists of her generation and quality are a dime–a–dozen these days. Many would immediately step in, and very happily.

    No regrets, Ms. Arghamanyan. You stay where you are. We will manage somehow without your concerts. We invite intelligent young artists who value Art, not politics.

    • Jane says:

      Mr. Nick, you are absolutely rude and judge Ms. Arghamanyan without knowing the real story.
      Ms. Arghamanyan states “I am holder of an armenian passport, (still waiting for my austrian citizenship) the problem is that my Schengen visa is still in process (applied in November) and the usual traveling document which Austrian government is giving to travel to Atlantic is not being accepted in US border anymore, and I had to fly to Canada after US and come back to Vienna via US”.

      I hope that clarifies the situation. There is nothing political in her statement, it is just the fact. And for your information, yes, she is a star and has a stlye very rare these days, praised by Gramophone, BBC and other critics.
      I hope you keep your negativity to yourself.

    • Beni Klarer says:

      Not only have you no clue about the actual visa issue, but also do not seem to know her as a pianist. Her Rach 2 in St. Gallen in 2014 was the exact opposite of a dime-a-dozen and in good way. The only time I have heared her live though, but enough to judge that she is not “just another pianist”.

      • Nick says:

        Yes, Beni – I understand you are a huge musician and music critic, may like NL himself?

        did they not teach you, Beni, at school that we live in a democracy? We are entitled to our opinions. You – to yours and I – to mine. Cool it!

        The girl is an average modern time good pianist. Let us settle on that. There are dozens with much more impressive playing and more impressive resumes. So, relax. I did not say she was “bad”. all I said was that there are many more like her of the generation 20s–30s.

        • Beni Klarer says:

          There are many musicians with impressive resumes who are nothing special. Some do fantastic recordings, but their live performances are just apointments they get paid for. You say there are dozens who are better than her. Even if that means a dozen times a dozen, she would still be among the best. But i wouldn’t go as far as rank a puanist after only one performance. I leave that to people who post their oppinions on ummigratiln issues without knowing any facts.