|▲ The two orchestra’s during their joint concert in Paris, France on Wednesday 14th (© Yonhap)|
Last Wednesday evening in Salle Pleyel, a concert hall in Paris, North Korea’s Eunhasu and the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra gave a joint concert under the baton of Chung Myung Whun of Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hyok Bong Kwon, who heads the North Korean delegation, commented to French daily Le Monde shortly before the concert: “This is a historical moment, for the first time North Korean and French musicians meet for a joint concert. It will contribute to the development of good relations between our two countries and peoples.”
“Six month ago, I was telling myself this was impossible,” commented Jean-Luc Hees, the director of Radio France. “It’s a surprising adventure. You have to put yourself at the young musicians’ place, we have created something, let’s hope it will continue.”
The program opened with musicians on traditional Korean kayagum and haegum dressed in national dress, the hanbok, performing traditional Korean pieces including Arirang. Later followed Brahms’ Symphony no1 and "Rondo Capriccioso" for violin and orchestra by Camille Saint-Saëns. Both the latter pieces were performed with French and North Korean musicians sharing music stands to create a more familial atmosphere.
Chung, who is himself of North Korean descent, said that he believes “music is greater that any boundaries,” and that this occasion is a good first step towards his ultimate personal goal: bringing together South and North Korean musicians for something similar.
The whole concert is available online at Salle Pleyel’s official website here