Violinist Itzhak Perlman cancels NC Symphony concert citing HB2

Violinist Itzhak Perlman (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Itzhak Perlman has canceled his Wednesday performance with the North Carolina Symphony due to House Bill 2.

On Monday, Perlman asked if he could include a statement in the program that explained his stance on HB2. He would also donate proceeds to EqualityNC, a spokeman for Perlman said.

Perlman’s publicist said that request was denied Monday by the orchestra. The request was denied due to the North Carolina orchestra being significantly funded by the state, putting them in “difficult situation.”

“Perlman does not blame the orchestra at all for this, but in light of the state not wishing Mr. Perlman’s voice to be heard, Mr. Perlman has no choice but to cancel,” the spokesman said in a release.

Perlman also released a statement that read:

As my fans know, I have spent a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities and have been a vocal advocate for treating all people equally. As such, after great consideration, I have decided to cancel my May 18th concert in North Carolina with the North Carolina Symphony as a stand against House Bill 2. As Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently stated, HB2 “is about a great deal more than just bathrooms. [It] is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens.” I couldn’t agree more and will look forward to returning to North Carolina when this discriminatory law is repealed.

On Wednesday morning, the North Carolina Symphony responded, saying in a statement,”The North Carolina Symphony welcomes all people with our hearts and minds open, and we are honored to share our music-making with everyone.  However, as a non-partisan organization our performances are not an appropriate forum for political commentary.”

Perlman joins other acts such a Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, and Boston in cancelling performances scheduled in North Carolina over HB2.

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