More than 150,000 people enter lottery for tickets to N. Korean Samjiyon Orchestra performance at Winter Olympics in S. Korea

Posted on: February 12, 2018

“The night before the Winter Olympics were set to open in the nearby town of Pyeongchang, more than 800 concertgoers braved frigid temperatures to hear the North Korean Samjiyon Orchestra in Gangneung, one of the Olympic venue cities,” writes Amy Qin in Friday’s (2/9) New York Times. “The 140-member art troupe performed a highly choreographed medley that ranged from traditional Korean songs like ‘Arirang’ to South Korean pop songs from the ‘80s, Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 and even a perennial karaoke favorite, Josh Groban’s ‘You Raise Me Up.’ … South Koreans appeared to be more excited about the Samjiyon Orchestra concerts than the actual Olympic events … Last week, more than 150,000 people entered a lottery for a chance to win one of more than a thousand free tickets to Samjiyon’s performances in Gangneung and Seoul…. It is not the first time the North has engaged in so-called music diplomacy. In 2000 … North Korea’s State Symphony Orchestra held a joint concert with the South’s Korean Broadcasting System Philharmonic in Seoul. Then, in 2008, North Korea hosted the New York Philharmonic…. In 2012, the North’s Unhasu Orchestra performed alongside the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, in Paris.”

Posted February 12, 2018