Should the New York Philharmonic travel to entertain dictators?

There are millions of exiled Cubans who can answer that question.

AP shill for the dictator, Anita Snow, provides us with the New York Philharmonic’s president, Zarin Mehta thoughts as he considers a possible tour to Cuba:

Mehta said the orchestra is concentrating on people rather than politicians: “We just want to come and play music and let others worry about the politics. That’s their problem.”
He noted that no major change in U.S.-North Korean relations occurred after the orchestra played in the North Korean capital in February 2008, the first performance by a major visiting orchestra in that totalitarian state.
Still, Mehta said, the music did seem to touch many of the North Korean concertgoers, who included government officials and military officers.
“Here you have all these people who have been taught that Americans are the devil,” he said. “When we played a Korean piece, you should have seen the change in the stoic, impassive faces of the Koreans. Many of them were weeping.”

I’m sure Hitler and Stalin occasionally shed a tear or two in their time as well—murderous dictators have tear ducts; no need to entertain them while their victims suffer to prove that. I think it is safe to assume that those North Korean concertgoers were hand picked by the regime, just as they would be in Cuba.

According to the article, it may be as long as a month before the board makes a decision on the Cuba trip. I urge our readers to contact them and let them know why they should not travel to Cuba to entertain the elite.

New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
10 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023-6970

Public Relations:
Administrative Offices: 212.875.5900
Public Relations and Press Queries: 212.875.5700, Email:
Katherine E. Johnson Associate Director of Public Relations
Eric M. Gewirtz, Assistant Director, Public Relations, Media and Touring

Paul B. Guenther, Chairman
Gary W. Parr, Chairman Designate

Complete list of Philharmonic Board and Staff can be found  here.

You can read the entire article here.

4 thoughts on “Should the New York Philharmonic travel to entertain dictators?”

  1. Where does there funding come from? Public govt funds or private funds?

    If they get money from the govt then they absolutely should be banned from going. If they however are funded by private people, then although I hate the fact they could be going – I’m not sure there is a legal recourse to stop them.

    Maybe we could ban them from leaving and make them live there.

    Rations for everyone ! 🙂

  2. Being the resident classical music snob contributing writer on this blog. let me put forth my $0.02. This is not the first time the NYPO has done this. They went to North Korea a few years back and I thought then, as I think now, that the policy stinks. I think Mr. Mehta is, with all due respect, an ignoramus who doesn’t have a fucking clue about the real world and the evil he supports but promoting these publicity junkets. Frankly, I could care less about the NYPO. The Boston Symphony Orchestra has always been my favorite American orchestra, anyway…

  3. There’s no harm in it, and it may be therapeutic, but trying to reason with these people about something like this is going to be as productive as throwing pearls before swine (unless it were to hurt them materially, and I don’t see how it would). These are ever-so-sophisticated liberal NY types, who have nothing but disdain for anything connected with Cuban-American “intransigents.” They honestly believe they know better about Cuba than Cubans themselves, not unlike “experts” such as Wayne Smith (assuming he’s not simply following directions from Havana, which is by no means out of the question). Our outrage, no matter how legitimate or justified, only makes this sort of people feel even more superior than they already do, and that’s saying something.

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