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What's on Tap

Violinist is latest to cancel concert in HB2 protest

Posted May 17

— In a message to fans posted on his official website Tuesday, violinist Itzhak Perlman wrote: "I have decided to cancel my May 18th concert in North Carolina with the North Carolina Symphony as a stand against House Bill 2.

Perlman, who has played for presidents and royalty, was scheduled to perform with the symphony Wednesday evening at Meymandi Concert Hall. That show has been canceled, and representatives were contacting ticket holders about the change.

"The North Carolina Symphony welcomes all people with our hearts and minds open, and we are honored to share our music-making with everyone," the listing on the symphony calendar read.

Perlman cited "a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities" and said he had "been a vocal advocate for treating all people equally" in his decision to cancel.

Perlman is not the first musical act to cancel a show in North Carolina over the law. Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Pearl Jam and Boston, among others, have scrapped plans to come to the Tar Heel State, while others, including Cyndi Lauper, have donated proceeds from their shows to organizations supporting LGBT rights.

"Itzhak Perlman's decision to cancel his performance is just the latest example of hypocrisy and selective outrage from the far-left that does nothing but hurt ordinary North Carolinians," Robin Hayes, chairman of the state Republican Party, said in a statement. "What's interesting is he will perform in Texas and Wisconsin, two other states that have similarly taken a stand against the President's overreaching school bathroom and locker room policy."

20 Comments

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  • Solomon Mcdonald May 18, 10:06 p.m.
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    He's from Isreal, so I wonder where he stands on the rights of Palestinians and on encroaching Isreal settlements on the West Bank.

  • Horace Tate May 17, 10:09 p.m.
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    And your point is? Texas isn't the state that imposed HB2 upon its citizens. Protesting against NC's GA is what's important. But yours is the now well-established line - classic right-wing tactic.

  • Michael Bawden May 17, 8:49 p.m.
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    He is going to Texas tomorrow night. Texas is behind HB2.

  • Horace Tate May 17, 8:28 p.m.
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    No, he's saying that he has spent a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities. Therefore, it is in keeping with this that he now advocates against HB2. Simple, really.

  • Roger Clements May 17, 7:54 p.m.
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    Perlman cited "a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities"

    So, he thinks gay and transgender people are disabled. Uhhhmmmm.

  • Horace Tate May 17, 6:51 p.m.
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    Why? Those states aren't empowered to repeal it. For the record, I agree it is a particularly off thing for him to do.

  • Michael Bawden May 17, 6:48 p.m.
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    Is he cancelling shows in other states that support HB2?

  • Horace Tate May 17, 6:40 p.m.
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    Guess Roland was right.

    What's with the quotation marks for "artist"? He is one of the pre-eminent classical musicians of our time. OK, perhaps you don't care for Bruce ("has been" with quotes), or the Blue Man Group ("entertainer"). So, the question to you and all the others who want to roll back antidiscrimination laws is who do you consider to be "artists" and "entertainers"? Lawrence Welk (who I respect), Doris Day, Sintra? Fred and Ginger? All of whom I find very entertaining and talented. My tastes also include the Sex Pistols, Beethoven, the Carpenters, Motorhead, some hymns. So, please, what floats your entertainment boat?

  • Betsy Sparks May 17, 6:20 p.m.
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    The concert was sold out, so it was definitely not related to ticket sales. According to the N&O, he had asked for a statement to be included in the program, and he cancelled when his request was denied.

  • Melissa Noderer May 17, 5:00 p.m.
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    While I don't think it is OK to cancel with only 24 hours notice--I feel bad for people with hotel reservations; the members of the NC orchestra who were looking forward to performing with this renowned violinist and lovers of the arts and music. The cancellation is a consequence of the NC Legislature and the Governor's rush to legislate and push through a bill without full consideration of the impact it would have on the NC economy and national reputation. It is truly a shame. I doubt that the governor and his band of minions give a hoot

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