North Koreans give New York Philharmonic a standing O

Tuesday's concert was a rousing success. Now, rock guitarist Eric Clapton has been invited to play in Pyongyang.

David Guttenfelder/AP
A rousing reception: More than 2,000 North Koreans attended the performance of the New York Philharmonic Tuesday in Pyongyang, North Korea. 'We may have been instrumental in opening a little door,” says Lorin Maazel, the Philharmonic’s music director. “If it does become seen in retrospect as a historical moment, we will all feel very proud to have been part of it.'

Cold war foes the United States and North Korea enjoyed a rare moment of harmony Tuesday when the New York Philharmonic played an unprecedented concert in the hermit state.

An audience of North Korea's communist elite gave America's oldest orchestra a standing ovation after a rousing set that took in Dvorak, Gershwin, the US and North Korean national anthems, and a Korean folk song. Some Philharmonic members were so overcome they left the stage in tears.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il did not attend.

But the country's sole television station broadcast the concert live to a population taught to view all things foreign with deep suspicion.

Who's next? The Financial Times says British rock guitarist Eric Clapton has been invited to play.

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