From the Chicago music critic and concert organizer Peter Margasak:
I was incredibly excited to present and hear the Chicago debut of the London-based Kazakh violinist Aisha Orazbayeva next weekend as part of the series I program at Constellation, but this morning she advised me that she had decided to cancel the US tour she had planned with pianist Joseph Houston. I support her choice fully. With her permission I am sharing what she wrote to me:
“After reading about ban on people from predominantly Muslim countries and that seven refugees with visas have been taken off the plane bound for JFK, I cannot find it in me to enter the US. An Iranian citizen has been refused entry even though he has a green card… I’m reading this in the Guardian.
For me it comes down to this: if I were from Iran I wouldn’t be allowed to come in and if my pianist came from Iran he wouldn’t be allowed to come in, and in solidarity with my pianist I would not travel.
I feel very bad to cancel the tour, but why are they letting me in and not people from Syria? What is the difference? I provide ‘entertainment’ and they seek help. That is awful.”