Friday, July 22, 2011

Building a music bridge

Can music span a divide that carefully orchestrated talks cannot?  One man's dream is just that.  Inspired by his friend Isang Yun, who was exiled from South Korea for visiting North Korea, Charles Dutoit wants to bring the two Koreas together over a joint orchestra venture.  With tensions recently heightened by last year's attacks from North Korea, he sees music as one way of trying to bring these two countries together.  Yun was impressed with the skill of North Korean musicians during one of his visits to Pyongyang, and hoped for the divided nations to one day play together.  He believed it would help create dialogue that could lead to resolving the issues of North and South Korea.

Would such a venture be successful given the current political environment of the Korean peninsula?  Recently the North has embarked on creating a more positive public image, and has started showing more interest in Western media and society.  What will the next few years bring?  Only time will tell if this venture or other peace-making gestures will succeed.

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