Eastman Philharmonia, barred from bringing three South Korean students on upcoming China tour

Posted on: October 29, 2019

“The Eastman Philharmonia has been invited to tour China this winter,” writes Jane Flasch on Thursday (10/24) at TV station WHAM (Rochester, N.Y.). “After months of practice, they’ve been notified three members aren’t welcome because they’re South Korean…. Starting in December, the [80-member] group will tour eight cities in China over 12 days—taking a cultural message and considerable talent directly to the Chinese people…. Since 2016, China has blocked South Korean artists from performing. ‘We were suddenly caught right in the middle of this. It was really a challenging decision to make,’ said [Jamal Rossi, Dean of the Eastman School of Music]. ‘Do we continue the tour without the valued colleagues or do we still go forward?’ … Congressional leaders and the Chinese consulate were not able to intervene. After several meetings, the members of the ensemble voted two-to-one in favor of going.… Rossi made his decision after meeting with the group and speaking to each of the three students who would be left behind. ‘They were unified in saying (they) still wanted this tour to go forward,’ … Rossi said.”

Posted October 29, 2019