We have received the following communication posted by Simon Tait at www.artsindustry.co.uk:
Musicians arrested at Gatwick
The opening concert of this year’s Spitalfields Festival almost had to be cancelled last night because of the over-zealous Border Agency officials at
Gatwick, and possibly lax ones in Holland.
The Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra were due to play at Christchurch Spitalfields, the festival’s principal venue, but when they arrived at Gatwick on Friday afternoon three of the orchestra’s members were arrested, held in detention for five hours, and then packed off back to Amsterdam.
The reason, the multi-national orchestra’s founder and conductor Ton Koopman told me last night, was that the three were Japanese musicians, two violinists and a viola player, who had come from Spain via Amsterdam where their passports apparently hadn’t been stamped properly.
“They kept them in detention like criminals and they weren’t even allowed to give us their music – because they were criminals, of course. It was a
disgraceful way to behave, and I had to leave them there in order to be here in time for the concert.”
More at www.artsindustry.co.uk
UPDATE: The Guardian reviewed the altered concert without suspecting the reason for the changes.
SECOND UPDATE: What should the conductor have done?
THIRD UPDATE: A report from the orchestral manager.