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Grammy award winning violinist Itzhak Perlman cancels Raleigh concert over HB2

In this Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2010 file photo, Itzhak Perlman plays the violin during the National Menorah lighting in celebration of Hanukkah near the White House in Washington. (Evan Vucci)

Itzhak Perlman, the 15 time Grammy award winning violinist, cancelled his Wednesday concert with the North Carolina Symphony due to the controversial House Bill 2.

In a statement, he said:

As my fans know, I have spent a lifetime advocating against discrimination towards those with physical disabilities and have been a vocal advocate for treating all people equally. As such, after great consideration, I have decided to cancel my May 18th concert in North Carolina with the North Carolina Symphony as a stand against House Bill 2. As Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently stated, HB2 "is about a great deal more than just bathrooms. [It] is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens." I couldn't agree more and will look forward to returning to North Carolina when this discriminatory law is repealed.

A representative for Perlman said the violinist asked the orchestra if he could include a statement in the program explaining his position and decision to have the concert and donate proceeds to EqualityNC. The orchestra responded and said they could not include the statement due to the state not allowing it. The orchestra said because they are funded by the state, they were put in a "difficult situation."

Perlman's representative said Perlman does not blame the orchestra but he had no choice but to cancel.

The North Carolina Republican Party released a statement on his decision:

"Itzhak Perlman's decision to cancel his performance is just the latest example of hypocrisy and selective outrage from the far-left that does nothing but hurt ordinary North Carolinians. What's interesting is he will perform in Texas and Wisconsin, two other states that have similarly taken a stand against the President's overreaching school bathroom and locker room policy." - NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes

The violinist is the latest in a string of artists to cancel over House Bill 2, including Bruce Springsteen, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, and Pearl Jam.

Singer Elton John's opposition also surfaced Tuesday in a blog posted on a website called The Hill, where he also criticized Gov. McCrory for signing HB2. He said in part that the law is discriminatory and North Carolina is wasting millions trying to defend it.

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