Eminent Austrian composer is banned from entering USA

Eminent Austrian composer is banned from entering USA


norman lebrecht

February 25, 2017

Klaus Lang, a composer of international repute, has been refused a US visa to attend a Los Angeles performance of his work, missa beati pauperes spiritu.

No reason was given for the refusal.

Lang, who is professor of composition at the University of Arts in Graz, believes it is connected to a non-government award he received four years ago in Iran.


  • Chen K says:

    Wow, all that I can say is wow! America has Iran’phobia. While in the past Iranian government was involved in quite a bit of thuggery, my opinion of Iranian citizens is that one cannot meet a more decent, civilized and cultured population. By not collaborating with them and exchanging views and ideas with Iranian women and men, the world will only gain less. Sad !

    • Steven Holloway says:

      True, but more relevant and disturbing here is that Lang is Austrian born and bred, not to immigrants from Iran, and not a convert to Islam. There is no evident reason for this, unless it’s the current rush in Austria to buy Trump wigs, although as Trump has not yet twittered that Vienna is no longer Vienna (as he said of Paris) or that it is convulsed with terror attacks (as he said about Sweden), I doubt it.

      • Chen K says:

        The policy of demonizing and banning anyone who is had cultural, academic or any other form of contact with Iran is what scars me. This might actually cause people to collaborate less with Iranian artists and academics. As an academic if I cannot publish a manuscript with an Iranian expert or if I cannot get in touch with an Iranian musician to get an opinion about an element of Iranian music in my composition. The loss is to the humanity.

        • Steven Holloway says:

          Agreed and seconded. You make a valuable observation indeed, especially at a time when academics in England, Canada and the U.S. are under pressure from various seats of power to change research to meet requirements that have no place in universities.

        • Marg says:

          Your point is well made. It is very disturbing. Guilty by association taken to ludicrous extremes.

        • Alison Trainer says:

          This is a tragedy for American culture. As Chen says, the current climate is anti-intellect, anti-education, anti-culture. This is exactly what happened with communism, with the French revolution. Eliminate all professors, teachers, cultural ambassadors, ban the free press, ban displays of art or music, ban scientific research… We should all be very wary, and we should be watching closely.

    • Thuggery? Lets see now, in 1955 the US overthrew the civilian prime Minister of Iran, and installed a brutal dictator who ruled for 25 years, while he collected a paycheck from the CIA and had televised executions of his political opponents. In the early 80’s The US financed and equipped Saddam Husseins Iraq to attack Iran, including the use of chemical weapons sourced in the USA. somewhere up to half a million Iranians were killed. In 1988 the US navy shot down a scheduled civilian airliner killing 290 innocent people. But its the Iranians who are have engaged in Thuggery?????

      • Robert Holmén says:

        Can you cite the Shah of Iran holding televised executions of political opponents?

        I’ve not read that before.

  • John Borstlap says:

    I called Mrs Conway and she said that it was because Mr Trump listened to this video:


    He had said it was much too slow, and that he had lost patience.

  • Thomas Johnston says:

    This adminstration is culturally ignorant.

  • Nick says:

    Mr. Trump is not a big fan of classical music, particularly of the modern stuff some write. Add to this an award from “radical” Iran – and you are certain to get the visa result Mr. Lang got. After all, though, not a big loss to American cultural scene.

    I already expect the vicious bites from the Leftists and the apologists of so called “modern music”. Please don’t bother – I do not read these. I stick to Bruno Walter assessment.

    • Gerhard says:

      If you are so deeply rooted in Bruno Walter’s era, you should listen to or read a few of FDR’s speeches as well.

      • Nick says:

        Ok. The first one already showed up. Quite impatient.
        Thank you I do not read political speeches particularly from left antisemities. You are welcome to educate yourself on those.

        • Steven Holloway says:

          A trifle ingenuous. You obviously read the speeches of Trump and likely those of the right-wing anti-semites among his henchmen. But I wanted to ask you a question. Have you encountered Holly Golightly on here? I’m a shadchan, you see.

          • Nick says:

            You are not a shadchan, you are a regular Left anti-Semite! All henchmen are in the Hillary’s Army and this Army is still quite able, but not for long I hope.

    • Kathy says:

      Please do not respond to this troll anymore. Nick obviously knows little to nothing about music if he dismisses the entire music world of the 20th century by describing it as “modern stuff” and “no great loss.” He also knows little about anything else if he refuses to read things he thinks he won’t like as he admits when he refuses to read “political speeches.” Pretty much somebody who loves to write nasty comments with little knowledge – you know – the troll. How he decided to go after the commenters on this site I have no idea, but if we just ignore him he will get much vindictive and insulting for awhile in an effort to get a response, then eventually he will go away if nobody responds. As somebody whose been trolled before, that is the only thing that has worked.

    • Claude Hersh says:

      A lot of nerve calling someone an anti semite when you are a Nazi. But lots of Jews collaborated with the Nazis.

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Agreed! The Left just cannot get over the loss of their divine right to rule. The march of the left through the institutions has to be stopped and it’s taken an unpleasant bulldozer like Trump to do the job. What does that tell you about the Left in general? It’s hideous.

      You probably read that old-fashioned stuff like Shakespeare too – so yesterday. Don’t forget to download some speeches by Elizabeth 1 when you do this!!

  • Frankster says:

    They managed to ‘trump” this stupidity by holding for questioning Mohammed Ali’s son! This idiocy by immigration officers will no doubt change a lot of travel plans in the coming months and years. It was widely reported in the musical press in Europe and seriously harms America’s cultural image in the world.

  • Rouzbeh says:


    For those who are crying why their is a visa ban on iranian. And or why west is calling iran regime as center of terrorists.

  • Elene says:

    Whether or not a person gets a visa should not depend on anyone’s specific tastes in music, the current president’s included.

  • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

    Henry Kissinger once widely said that anyone in Washington DC who is not paranoid must be insane. This truth applies to the white supremacists in the White House, but also to those clad in a uniform as CBP officers living out their fascist power fantasies.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Iran is a vicious regime which executes hundreds of people a year, men for being gay, hangs teenage girls from cranes, and wants to exterminate the Jews in Israel, So an ideal target for the adulation of the left.

  • Nicole says:

    Hitler banned then gaoled then executed artists & intellectuals
    Stalin bannec then gaoled then executed artists & intellectuals
    Pol Pot banned then gaoled then executed artists & intellectuals
    Right & left doesnt matter – they were all dictators
    May we heed the lessons of history…

    • Nick says:


      All the names you listed are Lefties: Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot. Say “thank you” you do not have Hillary Clinton as president. She would indoctrinate the whole world with “political correctness”. Nobody would say a word against at a great risk of being immediately prosecuted and/or isolated socially from the rest of indoctrinated society.
      So, pray for what we have, no matter how unwillingly most of us do that!!
      Al least we can speak against the president!! And numerous assholes like CNN, NYT, WP and such do that 24/7 without realizing what incredible freedom they enjoy!!!! We publicly can pour dirt on our president and all he does is tweets back. I wonder what would happen to you, Nicole, if you poured dirt in Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, Castro, etc. ….we would have already forgotten your name! You would have perished immediately. So, DO LEARN AND REMEMBER HISTORY!!

  • Nick says:

    Finally the Voice of Reason!! Thank you Mr. Schachter.

    Mr. Chen needs to enrich his musical art with the help of Iranian music. I wonder if he can name one Iranian composer even of local significance, not to speak of ZERO contribution to Western Music and culture.
    There are, however, a couple of national goals Iran is world famous for: extermination of Jews and Israel and an insane drive to have a nuclear bomb to accomplish the first goal.
    Music, naturally, is Iranian first prerogative.

  • Frankster says:

    In the next few months, the International Olympic Committee will decide whether the 2024 Olympics will be held in Paris or Los Angeles (the other candidates have withdrawn). Viewing some of the radical and dangerous comments here which seem to track those of the current US leadership and their new immigration policy, I suspect the decision has already been made.

  • Nick says:

    We all should listen to new music guru – Kathy – who knows everything about everything, including music!! And she, of course, is not a troll! Just a GURU!!
    Hopefully, she goes away from these pages and from all other pages as well.
    Keep writing to her, may she will disappear.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Nick, please cut the personal abuse.

      • Nick says:

        I wonder why you do not see people abusing me, like Kathy, for example? If you are so fair then you should be fair to ALL!! Can you be fair to all? if not, then do not shut people up!! We still hope to live in democracy! May be in UK it is called differently. Intolerance is not the way of democracy. We are all entitled to an opinion. All I do is state mine. I do not ask anybody to like it or dislike it. And I do not insult people. But when people insult me I answer. That is all.
        Thank you for your understanding and cooperation Mr. Lebrecht!

        • jaypee says:

          You want respect, Nick?
          Earn it.
          You are indeed entitled to an opinion. So are we: you are annoying, loud and ignorant.
          Get a life.

          • Nick says:

            From you Jaepeeeee I do not want anything! Like all of your breed, you are rude, uncultured, bad tempered and intolerant. But good that I got you going!! At least the temperature went a few degrees up. Truth annoys you, unpleasant to hear. I agree.

            Apparently the “fair” Mr. Lebrecht is keeping quiet in your case. Speaks a thousand words!!! Birds of feather flock together.