From a correspondent in South Korea:
One day after Christmas, on December 26th musicians of the Yangju Philharmonic Orchestra found a notice in their rehearsal room which says that the orchestra (35 members) and the choir (28 members) have been dissolved.
The city of Yangju is located north of Seoul and has a population of about 214,000 on an area of 119.7 square miles. It is probably the city located closest to North Korea (about 16 miles away).
Has the city to make cuts because of budget squeeze? No, on the contrary: the city’s budget for 2019 will be 10,49% bigger than in 2018 (around 690 million USD. The annual budget of the orchestra and choir combined has been about 635,000 USD (with a monthly average salary of about 500 USD).
So is it the lack of quality? Certainly not, they can play on an excellent level, as one can see and hear from this video recorded two weeks ago: