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New York Philharmonic Gets Ovations in North Korea

by Pat Coate | March 08, 2008
"I'm not a politician, I'm a musician. I can't say anything about the country except that people are very friendly."
- Eugene Levinson, principal contrabassist

Pyongyang, North Korea - The New York Philharmonic won three standing ovations after the first-ever performance by a U.S. orchestra in North Korea, raising hopes the round of musical diplomacy will boost ties as the U.S. presses the country to end its nuclear weapons program.

The last of three encores, a version of "Arirang," a folk-based anthem to the Korean nation that symbolizes hopes of unification of the communist north and the free-market south, left the audience whooping its approval.

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