“When Carnegie Hall announced Japan as the focus of this season’s big festival, it did not seem a particularly pathbreaking subject,” writes Daniel J. Wakin in Monday’s (3/14) New York Times. “Now it seems prescient. As Japan struggles with a woeful trail of disaster, Carnegie is about to plunge into a 40-event exploration of that country’s culture—its music, films, visual arts, design and drama—in the second installment of its citywide festival JapanNYC. The hall’s programmers and managers face challenges on two fronts: the practical problem of bringing in performers from a devastated country and the more nebulous issue of how to recast what was planned as a cultural celebration in a time of tragedy. As of Sunday no performers had withdrawn, and all but one event was scheduled to go forward. … In some cases groups were already on tour in North America, like the Kodo drummers, scheduled to appear at Avery Fisher Hall on Sunday. Other performers, like the violinist Midori, scheduled to appear at Carnegie on March 23, live in the United States. Carnegie received a message from the NHK Symphony Orchestra of Tokyo that it had already left; it is scheduled to play next Monday at Carnegie, conducted by André Previn.” A report Sunday (3/13) on the BBC Website states that the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra has cancelled the remainder of its 17-day, 10-concert tour of Japan.
Posted March 14, 2011