Next time you feel like pulling your hair out over the bureaucratic pitfalls of overseas travel, spare a thought for Richard Pontzious.

Once a year, the Hong Kong-based American arranges some 850 visas for over 100 young people from 11 Asian nations. He has to ensure a Taiwanese boy can get into Hong Kong, a Chinese mainlander into South Korea. And that’s before any of the members of his Asian Youth Orchestra have even played a note.

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