For all you night owls, the New York Phil's "historic" concert from Pyongyang, North Korea will be streamed live tonight on the WNET website, starting at 4am EST. Apparently, the North Korean government has agreed to broadcast the concert live on TV and radio within North Korea, an important concession that the Philharmonic has fought for from the beginning. As Dan Wakin points out on the Times website, this will be the first time the North Korean people will see Americans playing music, without any filters or controls.
"There's something to be said for the message that classical music brings," he says. "The idea that it's an artistic expression to be experienced by each individual on their own. There's no ability by the state to control the way people respond to art."
The program is pretty vanilla by our standards - Dvorak's New World Symphony and Gershwin's An American in Paris - but for the North Koreans, it'll be like having the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics playing on the same bill. And then some. (No word yet on whether The Dear Leader himself will attend in person.)