The New York Philharmonic was all set to fly into Cuba and jam, until the Treasury Department decided the patrons footing the bill couldn’t go. That’s pretty insulting to Cuba, considering that the same posse of musicians and rich people was cleared for a trip to North Korea.
Technically the Phil could still go, if the orchestra could persuade its donors to stay home, but that’s unlikely. —PS
The Philharmonic announced Friday it had postponed a historic trip to Havana planned for later this month, after U.S. Treasury Department officials denied travel permission to the orchestra patrons who were financially supporting the performances. Though U.S. trade sanctions against Cuba generally prohibit Americans from traveling there, U.S. regulators had granted permission to musicians and orchestra staff, but they wouldn’t allow the orchestra’s patrons to go.
It would have been the most high-profile American cultural event in Cuba in a half-century. But without supporters, who were to cover the roughly $10,000 in travel costs per musician, “the trip is not possible,” orchestra spokesman Eric Latzky said in a statement.