Argggh. As if having to buy two plane tickets wasn’t bad enough…
Kristin Ostling, cellist with the Carpe Diem Quartet, who reside at the University of Ohio, was questioned for eight hours by officials at Terminal 3 over the weekend, refused entry to the country, forced to sign written statements, and sent back on a plane to Chicago. The reason? Her performance at the University of Leeds’s two-day “non-nationalist” Russian opera conference – for which she was receiving no fee, and no expenses, either – was deemed to be “work”, and she was therefore not allowed in on her visa. The extraordinary thing is that the three other members of the quartet were allowed through and are now in Leeds, so it seems that Ostling was unlucky only because of the size of her instrument. Violins or violas can slip under the beady eyes of our immigration officials, but cellists need to watch out. Full Story at the Guardian
What’s more bothersome is the double standard that is implied for academic disciplines. Turns out, if she had been a lecturer attending a university conference under the same no fee/no expenses standard there would have been no problem. However, as a performer, her visa did not allow entry.
Sad day for musicians 😦