Alexander Liebreich, a conductor who works in Munich and Katowice, is a repetitive visitor to Pyongyang. He has been telling the BBC about his latest visit, with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, in November. He talks up the situation in the country, noting improvements in living standards and general outlook since his previous trip in 2006. He was able, he says, to walk around alone and apparently unwatched.
Liebereich is also director of the Tongyeong International Music Festival in South Korea.
Read what he has to say here.
Around the time of Liebereich’s visit, North Korea launched another rocket with nuclear potential and appealed for food aid for iuts starving citizens. The value of musical tourism to this pariah state remains highly questionable. No thaw resulted from the much vaunted 2008 trip by Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic.