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  • NY Phil Accepts North Korea Invitation

    Tue, 11 Dec 2007 15:42:47

    NY Phil Accepts North Korea Invitation - Landmark decision already causing controversy

    Improving relations between the U.S. and North Korea have led the New York Philharmonic to do the previously unthinkable: schedule a performance for the Communist nation. According to Philharmonic president Zarin Mehta, the concert will be held on February 26 at a TBD location. Mehta spent six days looking at possible Pyongyang venues in October after the country's Ministry of Culture extended an invitation this past summer.

    Washington's State Department declined to comment on the concert, but spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said in a statement, "We continue to encourage cultural exchanges between North Korea and the U.S."

    Critics have been considering the idea of a North Korea concert for the past couple months. The Wall Street Journal's Terry Teachout, for one, lashed out at the Philharmonic's impending decision on October 27, writing that the orchestra would "be doing little more than participating in a puppet show whose purpose is to lend legitimacy to a despicable regime."

    An official announcement on the February performance is expected later today.

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff

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