This might look like any other philharmonic orchestra, but in fact, these musicians come from both North Korea and France, and the conductor is from south Korea.
This collaboration in Paris is the result of 30 years of negotiations and requests – and the hope is that it might improves links between France and North Korea.
Myung-Whun Chung, musical director of the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra: “You can imagine that I’ve waited all my life, like many other Koreans. I’ve always pushed human relations first, music second. And in third place, the policies which allowed us to do this.”
The solo violinist Svetlin Roussev said: “You can think about the future in various ways, but what we are doing here today is wonderful, especially from a musical perspective.”
The concert comes just after North Korea and the US announced a deal involving the cessation of nuclear activities in North Korea in return for food aid.