American conductor Joshua Weilerstein has announced he will donate his entire fee from recent performances with the North Carolina Symphony to a LGBT rights organisation – in protest to the state’s controversial provisions to ban transgender individuals from using the bathroom of the gender that matches their identity.
“Like millions of Americans, I was appalled last March when the North Carolina Legislature passed the anti-LGBT bill HB2 …” the 28 year old former New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor has said.
“To perform with a symphonic orchestra requires a profound sense of inclusion in order to listen, respond, and communicate together … if one person in that musical community is left out, the whole ensemble can crumble …” he has said.
“In the aftermath of the electoral season, I believe it is even more important to reaffirm our support for all minority communities … to that end, I would like to announce that I will be donating my performance fee for my October performances in Raleigh to Equality NC, one of the most effective LGBT rights organizations in North Carolina.”
In May of this year, violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman canceled a series of performances with the same orchestra in protest to the controversial Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act.
“As my fans know, I have spent a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities and have been a vocal advocate for treating all people equally … ” Mr Perlman said at the time.
Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Cirque du Soleil, Ringo Starr, Mumford and Sons, Lionsgate and composer Stephen Schwartz have also refused to perform in the the State of North Carolina until the legislation is reversed.