Visas are harder and harder to get since 9/11, which is helpful for American soloists, at least in Phoenix, although the IRS is creating headaches of its own affecting the cause of the Americans:
“But with all the visa malarkey, and trying to get guest artists into the country with enough confidence to include them in our season brochure – well, we are looking at more American artists,” Christie says.
Even the IRS gets into the act, says Maryellen Gleason Phoenix Symphony president.
“There is a new rule about federal withholding tax,” she says. “It’s not a deal killer, but if you have to decide between a really terrific European cellist and a really good American cellist, you lean to American, which is good for the American, but it’s another step for our bookkeeping department, and we have only so much time.
“We canceled a guest conductor for next season for the exchange rate. We’re looking at a Chinese conductor instead of a European one.”
On the other hand, American orchestras touring Europe can be paid in euros, and the currency conversion imbalance can help them make up for a loss in corporate sponsorship. A poor economy has left several orchestras with empty pockets that corporate donations used to fill.
The entire Arizona Republic article is here.
Life carting a cello around has never been simple.