The 130-member orchestra is scheduled to arrive Monday and perform Tuesday night before an audience of high-ranking North Korean officials. Eighty journalists will accompany the musicians to a country that is almost always closed to the outside world.
The performance is scheduled to be broadcast live on North Korean state television. For North Koreans, watching an American orchestra perform in their own country will be unprecedented – and politically dissonant. State-controlled media have demonized the United States since the Korean War.
Reports from Pyongyang suggest that anti-American propaganda is being pulled from the streets in anticipation of the orchestra's rendition of George Gershwin's "An American in Paris" and Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony, as well as both the North Korean and American national anthems.