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Pianist Cancels Krannert & Chicago Concerts Due To Trump Travel Ban

Pianist Joseph Houston and violinist Aisha Orazbeyeva.

Pianist Joseph Houston and violinist Aisha Orazbeyeva. Their appearances at the U of I Krannert Center and elsehwere in the U-S have been cancelled due to Orazbeyeva's boycott due to Pres. Trump's travel ban. Krannert Center

Upcoming concerts have been cancelled --- including one at the University of Illinois Krannert Center for the Performing Arts -- because of one artist’s protest of the president’s order barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Violinist Aisha Orazbeyeva is refusing to perform in the U.S., to show solidarity with those affected by the travel ban. 

On her Twitter feed, the Kazakhstan native writes, “Why can I enter when Syrians can’t? What’s the difference? They seek help and I entertain.”

Orazbeyeva’s decision means a Sunday, Feb. 5 concert in Chicago and another one set for Tuesday, Feb. 7 at the U of I Krannert Center are cancelled.  

In both concerts, Orazbeyeva was scheduled to perform with pianist Joseph Houston. Houston, who is based in London and Berlin, won’t be coming either. The terms of his artist visa allow Houston to perform in the U-S, only if Orazbeyeva comes with him.

A second concert at Krannert featuring the duo with the Illinois Modern Ensemble on Wednesday, Feb. 8, will go ahead, but with a different program.

Orazbeyeva and Houston were scheduled to perform at Krannert as part of “Sonic Illinois,” a month-long series celebrating contemporary music.

Krannert says ticket holders for the Feb. 7 performance will receive a refund in their original form of payment.  Questions should be directed to the Krannert Center Ticket Office at 217-333-6280 or 800-KCPATIX.

The Krannert Center announcement of the cancellation provided no comment on Orazbeyeva's reasons for refusing to perform in the U.S. The Frequency Series, which was to present her Chicago appearance, said on their Twitter feed that they regretted the cancellation, "we support her act of protest of Trump’s despicable ban."