MUSICIANS WORRY ABOUT ENTERING THE US WITH INSTRUMENTS MADE OF IVORY

Apr 15, 2014

By Scott Walker

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A young Edmonton bass player is passing up an opportunity he’s been working towards for years.

And it’s all because of his bow.

Taddes Korris is a Masters student at the Manhattan School of Music. He had an opportunity to audition for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. But he has cancelled his plans because the bow he uses is ivory-tipped.

Korris is one of many musicians caught in limbo over a new US regulation that bans commercial trade in ivory. It’s a measure to protect elephants from poaching, but it is causing problems for musicians who have instruments made of ivory.

The ban does not include older instruments such as Korris’ bow. But it’s hard to prove the age of instruments, and Korris is afraid his bow might be confiscated by an over-zealous border guard.

The Winnipeg Symphony has also cancelled a concert at Carnegie Hall because it’s concerned about the paperwork involved in proving its instruments don’t violate the ban.

Musicians’ organizations are working to clarify the new regulations so that their members can cross the border with confidence that they’ll have something to play once they reach their destination.

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