Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sergio Mims: U.S. Customs denies CSO guest maestro [Afro-Venezuelan Rafael Payare]

Rafael Payare
(Elgin Symphony Orchestra)

Sergio A. Mims writes:

This is a very odd situation:

Janelle Gelfand

December 3, 2015

A guest conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra was turned away by United States Customs as he arrived to lead concerts this weekend.

Rafael Payare, a rising star who is making acclaimed debuts around the world and is married to American cellist Alisa Weilerstein, was unable to get through customs even though his visa is current, said Cincinnati Symphony spokesperson Christopher Pinelo.

The problem involved not the visa, but other paperwork that needed to be renewed, Pinelo said. Despite the efforts of Ohio Congressman Steve Chabot and his office, Payare was denied entry. Fixing the issue will take at least two weeks.

The artist, who was arriving to the U.S. from Berlin,  was "shocked" that he was turned away, Pinelo said.

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