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August 09, 2002 - Image 70

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-08-09

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Arts & Entertainment





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Pulling The Plug


Israel Philharmonic/Michael Feinstein cancellation
. •
was a matter of economics, not safety, publicists say.


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he eight-city concert tour
by the Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra and singer
Michael Feinstein sched-
uled for this month will not take place
— but lack of security has nothing to
do with it.
The much-publicized tour, which
was to have included an Aug. 24 stop
at Detroit's Fox Theatre, was abruptly
postponed July 29, as e-mail releases
touting the event were still being
transmitted to computers nationwide.
Initial reports by Reuters and the
Associated Press indicated the orches-
tra's promoters had been unable to
locate either an insurance company or
a security firm that would cover the
"That is simply not true," said Angela
Duryea of Shuman Associates, the New
York firm that represents the IPO.
"We've gotten a
ton of calls from
security companies
saying if the Israel
Philharmonic can't
get security, they
would love to talk to
The orchestra,last
performed in the
United States in
January, she pointed
out, well into the
current intifada.
"There were no
problems," Duryea
said. "The orchestra performs every-
"The Israel Philharmonic didn't can-
cel — they were canceled. Somebody
must have come up with this great
idea [saying there was a problem with
security] because they didn't sell
enough tickets."

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In a July 29 article in the Washington
Post, Dalia Meroz, an Israeli-based
spokesperson for the IPO, was quoted
as saying no insurance company
would cover the Feinstein/IPO per-
formances due to concerns about pos-
sible terrorist attacks.

"They think our orchestra is a target
for terrorism," she told the Post.
But, in a press release dated July 30,
Suzanne Ponsot, executive director of
the American Friends of the Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra, said the
orchestra has "its own security, and
only one U.S. insurance company
even expressed a doubt about addi-
tional insurance for the tour."
During its 67-year history, the
orchestra has fulfilled every one of its
commitments, regardless of political
climate or the venues where they are
performing," the release states.
The original report of insurance and
security problems had appeared in the
Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharanot,
quoting orchestra manager Avi
Shoshani as saying security companies
had been "unwilling to take the risk."
Ponsot said Shoshani may have been
"dismayed and distraught" when he
made that statement.
Instead of security concerns, Clear

Part of the proceeds
from August CD
sales of 'Michael
Feinstein with
the Israel
will be donated to
Seeds of Peace.

Channel Entertainment, the promot-
ers of four of the eight concert ven-
ues — Chicago, Cleveland, Denver
and San Francisco — "felt there was
a need to cancel due to a poor
response during this late summer
period," Ponsot said.
After Clear Channel pulled the plug,
promoters in Detroit, Columbus, Los
Angeles and Seattle followed suit.
Security concerns by American audi-
ences, especially after the July 4 attack
at the El Al Airlines ticket counter at
Los Angeles International Airport,
may have cut into ticket sales for the
orchestra's U.S. tour.
Among the organizations publiciz-
ing the Aug. 24 Fox Theatre concert

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