Violinist Sarah Chang has cancelled a recital at Detroit's Orchestra Hall scheduled for tonight, citing intimidating emails she had received from supporters of striking Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) musicians.

Chang had been due to perform as soloist with the orchestra in its season-opening concert. But after the players began strike action on 4 October, it was announced that she would instead perform a recital programme. DSO musicians, who are fighting against salary and benefit cuts, wrote to Chang, pleading with her not to cross the picket line and perform. The chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, which represents 4,200 orchestral players in the US, did the same. Strongly worded messages were also sent to her fan-created Facebook page.

Explaining her decision to withdraw from the recital, Chang said in a statement: 'My original intention to bring music to the community has been derailed and I have been unwillingly drawn into an inner dispute that does not appropriately involve me.'

The DSO president and CEO Anne Parsons commented: 'We are appalled at the treatment and criticism she has received for agreeing to appear at the DSO. Sarah is a victim of harassment, and those responsible should be held accountable.'