Musical detente in N. Korea

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What to make of the New York Philharmonic’s decision to include a concert in North Korea on its latest musical road trip?

Conductor Lorin Maazel explained:  “Music is a powerful language in which those of us who are humane and intelligent can speak to each other in defiance of political and cultural boundaries.”

On the other hand, as stated at, it’s not often that the political leaders of North Korea are described as “humane.”

So should music rise above world politics? Is the overall positive impact of the Philharmonic’s gig before North Korean elite greater than the negative? Or should music be above such questions?

And what does it say that this visit represents the largest American contingency to visit the country since the end of the Korean War?

Your thoughts?

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