NY Philharmonic Performs in North Korea

0226northkorea NY Philharmonic Performs in North KoreaAs previously reported, the New York Philharmonic’s performance in North Korea will air on PBS (Channel 13) tonight at 8 p.m. and Thurs. Feb. 28 at 2:30 a.m. New York Times coverage of the concert after the jump.

It was the first time a major American cultural organization had appeared here, and the largest contingent of United States citizens since the Korean War.

The trip has been suffused with political importance since North Korea’s invitation came to light last year. It was seen as an opening for warmer relations with the United States, which North Korea has long reviled.

The concert brought a “whole new dimension from what we expected,” Lorin Maazel, the Philharmonic’s music director, told reporters afterward. “We just went out and did our thing and we began to feel this warmth coming back.”

He suggested the concert would have a wide impact. “I think it’s going to do a great deal,” he said. “I was told 200 million people were watching. That’s important for the people who want relations to improve.”

The concert was broadcast live in many nations, including North Korea.

“We thought there may be a mission accomplished here,” he said, “and we may have been instrumental in opening a little door. The groundwork has been laid. There’s no question about it. If it does come to be seen in retrospect as a historical moment, we will all be very proud.”