US Nuclear Envoy Meets N. Korean Counterpart Amid Declaration Impasse
Japanese woman to sponsor NY Philharmonic's N. Korea Visit
U.S. Concerts and Korean propaganda
Why We'll Play Pyongyang
NPR: Dizzy Gillespie's Cold War Jazz Diplomacy [Real Player]
Cultural diplomacy has always been lauded as a way to create dialogue between nations with significant ideological differences. During the Cold War, musicians from the United States made a number of important trips abroad to spread the gospel of jazz and classical music, and in doing so, they made more than a few friends and might have even brightened relations between Russia and the United States, albeit temporarily. On February 26th, the New York Philharmonic will give a command performance in North Korea, and the trip has already garnered both significant praise and criticism. Recently, the New York Times announced that the North Korean government has given permission for the concert to be broadcast live. In a recent editorial published in the Wall Street Journal, the Philharmonic's music director, Lorin Maazel, had this to say about their forthcoming concert in Pyongyang: "If all goes well, the presence of the New York Philharmonic in Pyongyang might gently influence the perception of our country there. If we are gradually to improve U.S.-Korean relations, such events have the potential to nudge open a door that has been closed too long."
The first link will take users to an article from this Tuesday's New York Times which talks a bit about the Philharmonic's upcoming concert in North Korea. The second link leads to a bit of reporting from Voice of America about the ongoing nuclear weapons talks between the United States and North Korea. Moving on, the third link leads to a news article from The Hankyoreh about Yoko Nagae Ceschina. Ceschina happens to be a Japanese millionaire who is helping make the trip possible via her support of the Philharmonic's activities. The fourth link will lead visitors to an interesting editorial on the subject of cultural diplomacy from The News Journal's (Wilmington, DE) own Harry F. Themal. The fifth link will whisk users away to an equally impassioned and thoughtful editorial by Lorin Maazel which appeared in this Wednesday's Wall Street Journal. Those persons who appreciate their cultural diplomacy in the form of flattened sevenths and ninths will appreciate the audio portrait of Dizzy Gillespie's trips abroad in the 1950s to be found in this last link. Visitors will also get to hear some rare recordings from the trip, including a performance of "I Can't Get Started".
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