Charles Dutoit pushes for inter-Korean orchestra

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The project was set back as tensions rose after North Korea allegedly torpedoed a South Korean warship and killed 46 sailors in March of last year. The North also fired artillery shells on a South Korean border island in November that killed four people.

But Paik, the analyst, said that North Korea now wants to improve its international image, while South Korean President Lee Myung-bak may seek better ties with the North before he leaves office in early 2013.

The South Korean Unification Ministry says it is willing to review the orchestra project after a formal request is made. Dutoit’s South Korean partner, Lindenbaum Music Company, plans to file one in coming days. His long-term goal is for the orchestra to perform regularly in Pyongyang, Seoul and the Korean border town of Panmunjom.

He isn’t the only one using music as a tool to help ease tension on the Korean peninsula.

Renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim plans to hold a peace concert at the South Korean border town of Imjingak on Aug. 15 with his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together young musicians from Israel and Arab countries every summer. The New York Philharmonic also held a concert in Pyongyang in 2008.

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