North, South musicians to play in Paris

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North, South musicians to play in Paris

A renowned South Korean conductor leaves for Pyongyang today to rehearse with North Korea’s main orchestra in preparation for an upcoming joint concert with a French team in Paris in March. Chung Myung-whun, conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, will fly to the North via Beijing today and stay there until Thursday.

“The purpose of his visit to the North is a rehearsal with North Korea’s official orchestra Eunhasu [Milky Way] before the joint performance in Paris scheduled on March 14,” Kim Hyung-suk, spokesman of the Ministry of Unification, told reporters yesterday. “There are no government officials accompanying Chung. He will bring only three people on the trip.”

Chung, who has publicly expressed hope for staging a joint North-South symphony performance, said last week he had proposed the idea to North Korean officials, but they rejected it due to frosty inter-Korean relations.

Instead, they accepted his proposal for bringing Pyongyang’s Eunhasu orchestra to Paris and holding a joint performance with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, a local French orchestra. Chung will conduct the joint concert.

By Kim Hee-jin []
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