New York audience applauds ode to North Korean leader

New York audience applauds ode to North Korean leader


norman lebrecht

September 27, 2016

north korea

Among the bizarre stories of 2016, this one takes the last biscuit in the Pyongyang tin.

The musicians, it seems, were just doing a day’s work. But who were the audience that paid good money to hear a pick-up orchestra conducted by a sworn supporter of the Dear Leader, who lives in Teaneck, New Jersey?

Read the full crackpot story in the Wall Street Journal here.


Natalie Rogers, a 65-year-old classical music aficionado from Manhattan, said she was puzzled by the stern, well-dressed Korean men sitting in view of her third-row balcony seat during last week’s performance.

They were Ri Yong Ho, North Korea’s foreign minister, and his associates who were in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. A day later, Mr. Ri delivered a speech at the U.N. that promised to advance North Korea’s nuclear threat.

“I was wondering who they were,” said Ms. Rogers, a performance-anxiety coach, after she learned.







  • Dan P. says:

    Can you cite more of this story, since the Wall Street Journal article lies behind a pay wall? Curious story but not worth buying a subscription to the WSJ to read it.

  • Jerome Hoberman says:

    The Dear Leader lives in my home town, Teaneck?!