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Q&A on artists and politics / Philadelphia Enquirer

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Violinist Itzhak Perlman recently took to his Facebook page over a high-profile issue well outside of his usual realm: North Carolina House Bill 2, which eliminated various antidiscriminatory legal protections for a range of people, including those who are gay, bisexual, and transgender, and required people to use only restrooms that corresponded with the gender specified on their birth certificates. Wrote the violinist: "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."

It's not unheard of for classical artists to enter the fray on social justice issues. But are the potential risks and rewards higher today, in our superconnected, hyperventilating climate of social media and 24-hour news channels? The Philadelphia Enquirer asked Sarah Baird Knight, a partner, along with Steven Swartz, at Brooklyn P.R. firm DOTDOTDOTMUSIC (which does not represent Perlman), to weigh in on questions raised by Perlman's not-so-silent act of silence.

READ THE Philadelphia Enquirer Q&A