Just in: Classical artist cancels US debut tour over Trump ban

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.”

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      • The definition of having a moral compass is that a person will act in a way that she knows to be moral, regardless of the act’s ability to make a change in any outside environment.
        It is something to be admired, and for me personally, will add a resonance when I listen to Ms. Orazbayeva’s performances in the future, which I now plan to do.

        • I’d call that “moral-ism”. There’s a big difference and it has to do with grandstanding. Lots of Lefties don’t have values per se, just ‘positions on issues’.

          Perhaps she needs to keep her anger and vent it towards abuse of women by muslim men and the genital mutilation of their girls. Deafening silence (of course). That’s moral-ism for you.

          • No need to continue this. we both know where the other stands, and we will not make a dent in each other’s ideas.

            Sure is painful

  • Preferring American artists over foreigners is another issue. THIS is about appointments already made, engagements already scheduled (otherwise there were nothing to cancel), and about the crazy decision of Mr T to offer lots of propaganda material to muslem extremists who want to put forward the myth that they, and by implication all muslems, are engaged in a ‘war between civilizations’. Most victims of extremists are muslems, and people fleeing muslem countries, are fleeing these crazy cranks.

        • Perhaps spelling the word ‘muslim’ correctly would be a good start?

          So I need to explain to those worldly individuals who don’t know.. blaming Trump for making extremists more extreme by doing something or other which is likely to harm American people is VICTIM BLAMING. Yes, blaming a person by suggesting they are bringing something upon themselves (particularly when enacting laws) is the horrific new moral relativism of the Left. That’s why you got Trump, folks.

    • @ Botslap

      where were you when Mr. Obama closed USA to people for 6 months? I guess, what Mr. Obama does, Mr. Trump cannot for some reason. You think that Mr. Obama did not offer the same propaganda opportunity for the islamic radicals by shutting certain people from certain countries out of the USA in 2011and 2012?
      Interesting double standard. Aren’t you, by any chance, a clintonite? Then, it is absolutely clear and justified.

      • Bravo. Don’t get upset about the unworldly who don’t understand the concept of ‘victim blaming’.

        I notice Obama has spoken up; unlike the Bush dynasty, who retired to financially rich ad fertile pastures and remained silent, Obama had nothing BUT the Presidency to float his boat.

    • We need to be featuring American artists, not bringing in foreigners! In fact, public grant money should not be given to arts organizations unless 100% of featured soloists and/or conductors are american and 75% of the orchestras and/or chamber ensembles are comprised of Americans! Put more Americans on stage!

      And yes, Nate is qualified to replace that ugly hag from Kazakhstan! A YouTube search of his name would show that.

      • MONTY BLOOM SAYS:
        January 31, 2017 at 10:28 am
        We need to be featuring American artists, not bringing in foreigners! In fact, public grant money should not be given to arts organizations unless 100% of featured soloists and/or conductors are american and 75% of the orchestras and/or chamber ensembles are comprised of Americans! Put more Americans on stage!
        And yes, Nate is qualified to replace that ugly hag from Kazakhstan! A YouTube search of his name would show that.
        – See more at: https://slippedisc.com/2017/01/just-in-classical-artist-cancels-us-debut-tour-over-trump-ban/?replytocom=136750#respond

        @Monte Bloom

        With all due respect, No question, we should promote American artists first, however it does not mean that cultural exchange is not viable. Otherwise we can face the danger of the “iron curtain” and that has its dire consequences. There should be a very fine line between patriotism and freedom of cultural exchange.

        Certainly, we do NOT need “artists” of the Ms. Orazbayeva quality, particularly if they behave like liberal sissies. Of these there are many, I am afraid, too many. But still I am not in favor of personal insults. Whether she is “ugly” or “gorgeous” is first of all in the “eyes of the beholder” and, second of all, is none of my interest and none of my business. This is not a beauty contest. As an artist though, Ms. Orazbayeva is very easily replaceable. No problem there.

      • 1. You’ll find that American has had its share of ‘going to’ Asia. Do I need to spell it out?

        2. The majority of the American people are descendants of migrants. That probably includes you. Stern is only one in a long line. And do you know what happened to the indigenous musicians? I suppose not: you’re probably more interested in practicing your scales.

        3. I’m not gonna mention blues and jazz…

  • Not a terribly intelligent question:
    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 EXACTLY THE DIFFERENCE, Ms. Orazbayeva. And it you do not understand it you might safely stay and play in the UK – nothing wrong with that either. There will be a dozen other great musicians who would gladly take your place and will not mix Music with Politics. And they will be right. And you are completely wrong, although I do not support President’s Trump FLAT ban on entrance the USA.

    He could have achieved the same effect by doing things more subtly and intelligently. It is ONE OF THE FIRST OBLIGATIONS of the President of any country: to KEEP THE COUNTRY AND ITS PEOPLE SAFE!!! This is what President Trump is trying to accomplish. And, no matter what this President does there will be critics: if he did not temporarily “ban” some people, and a terrorist attack would have happen, most of the “writers” on this and other blogs would be the FIRST to scream and yell that the President is “negligent”, “inexperienced”, “does not know what he is doing”, “people are dead because of him” and so on; and if he makes a temporary ban the same writers are all behind one silly young girl who happens to play the violin. This President is damned if he does and damned if he does NOT. All the same. A shame! A double standard of the Left.

  • Apparently Ms. Orazbayeva “plays politics” much better than she “plays violin”. USA did not lose anything if she stays in the UK. UK also did not gain much as far as music is concerned, having Ms. Orazbayeva.

    Well, different people are good at different things!

      • @Gordon Freeman

        Good for you, Sir, if you think so. We are all entitled to our opinions.
        Good luck with your opinion.
        I happen to know much better violinists than Ms. Orazbayeva, in fact in a totally different orbit. And can name more than a dozen already with huge names, brilliant artistic personalities, great careers and under strong music managements. None of this applies to Ms. Orazbayeva with all due respect. So, let her “play politics”. She obviously can afford it.

          • @stephen

            And what a double standard from yet another clintonite!!
            These people do not want to face reality and cannot lose graciously. Something God did not grant them. And for a good reason: superiority complex.

          • @stephen

            And what a double standard from yet another clintonite!!
            These people do not want to face reality and cannot lose graciously. Something God did not grant them. And for a good reason: superiority complex.

  • With respect to trolls Nick and Nate, I’ve taught and/or worked with a lot of the best musicians in the UK, and Aisha is one of the very very best and universally respected by the people who play with her. Those who think they could ‘replace’ her might want to look at the repertoire that she was going to play on the tour. Empathy for refugees – most of the great generation of Jewish American classical musicians were of course exactly that – hardly disqualifies one from either musical excellence or political wisdom.

    • My next door neighbor, who babysat for Mr. Heifetz’s driver’s kids once told me that I played a G# better than Mr. Hefetz! She said it out loud too! You can ask the landscaping guys who were outside mowing the lawns, they may have even heard it!

    • Of course, they don’t receive a subsidy from the federal government, so your policy of withdrawing funding for not hiring Americans will have precisely no impact. The major US arts organisations only have to satisfy their patrons (who want talented musicians who aren’t jerks, being a jerk will always ensure you aren’t hired). In any case, these federal arts subsidies are being abolished.

  • @ Nate

    I must sincerely apologize for calling you “disgusting”. I take this comment back. What I meant was “disgusting” is politicizing matters. Again, I take my comment BACK 100%!
    And I agree that Ms. Orazbayeva is as mediocre as it gets. She can be easily substituted by much worthier artists of American or any other nationality. And she should not be having any international career. She should be happy playing in Kasachstan.

    My point was that we are tired of the disgusting liberal policies that were imposed and forced on us by 8 Obama years. And this has been very frustrating not only for general audiences, but for artists in particular.
    And since I am one of these, I got particularly carried away. So, again, very, very sorry if I had offended you. I take it back, if this is of any help.

    All best, Nick

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