NAC concertmaster fights musical-instrument fines imposed at Canadian border

Posted on: January 14, 2014

An unsigned article at Monday’s (1/13) CBC News (Canada) reports that violinist Yosuke Kawasaki, concertmaster of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, “is battling the Canada Border Services Agency in Federal Court after he was fined $120,000 for failing to declare nearly half a million dollars in musical instruments…. Kawasaki claims when he was crossing the border into Canada in 2012 the CBSA wrongfully seized his $385,000 violin and three bows worth $90,000, $6,800 and $2,000 each. The Japanese-American musician … was fined $120,950 plus PST for failing to declare the instruments at the Lansdowne crossing on Dec. 11, 2012. He then paid a $20,000 partial payment for the release of the instruments a few weeks later…. Court documents indicate he is asking to have the fine revoked and deposit refunded…. Kawasaki also says the CBSA could have chosen less draconian punishment for a working virtuoso. Bramwell Tovey, the conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, said ,… ‘All the time I think instrumentalists are having to think about issues like this. The loss of an instrument is traumatic.’… Kawasaki’s violin was made in 1833 by Joannes Franciscus Pressenda of Turin, Italy. His top bow was made in 1850 by Dominque Pecatte, and is mounted with ebony and silver.”

Posted January 14, 2014