Eastman Philharmonia is one of the well known orchestras at the music school of the University of Rochester in New York. They came under intense fire this week for excluding South Korean student musicians from a tour in China at the behest of the Chinese government.

The school has now had a change of heart and is canceling the tour.

The Democrat & Chronicle reports:

Eastman School of Music cancels China tour over ban of South Korean members

The University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music reversed course on Tuesday and canceled plans to tour China this winter after China refused to allow the group’s three South Korean musicians to perform.

The Eastman Philharmonia initially said it would go anyway.

Late Tuesday, however, Eastman Dean Jamal Rossi issued a statement saying the tour would be postponed until everyone could go.

“I believe that given the particular circumstances of this tour, the best course of action for the Eastman community and the values we share is to wait until the Philharmonia can perform as one,” Rossi wrote.

Rossi said last week that China’s refusal to approve visas for South Korean artists was in response to the United States’ decision to deploy a missile defense system in South Korea in 2016. He said in grappling with whether to cancel the tour, he worried it would “likely have a negative impact on Eastman’s reputation within China, and potentially limit other opportunities to recruit, perform, and tour for our faculty and other ensembles.”


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