RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — World-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman said he canceled his Wednesday performance with the North Carolina Symphony after he was told he would not be able to include a personal statement opposing the state’s new law limiting antidiscrimination policies for LGBT people in the event program.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, Perlman said he will not perform in North Carolina until the law is reversed.
“If I’m invited, I will come once the law’s repealed. But as long as this thing is there, I have to take a stand,” Perlman said.
Perlman had said he wanted to proceed with the concert to support the 66 professional musicians employed by the symphony in Raleigh. He said he intended to donate the concert proceeds to LGBT advocacy group Equality North Carolina following the lead of musicians like Cyndi Lauper and comedian Louis C.K.
But Perlman reversed the decision Tuesday after he said symphony management told him they could not print his opposition to the bill in the program.
In a statement, symphony spokeswoman Linda Charlton said the symphony could not accommodate the request.
“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,” Charlton said.
The symphony is an entity of the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and governed and operated by a 60-person board that includes Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. Charlton said the symphony received $4.07 million in state funding for the 2015-2016 season.