The cover of The Pyongyang Concert DVD.
The best classical music of this past year came not from a CD, but from a historic event. That's according to Soundcheck host John Schaefer, who says the biggest story from the classical music world was the New York Philharmonic's performance in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Feb. 26.
Conductor Lorin Maazel led the concert in Pyongyang, as the New York Philharmonic became the first major American orchestra to perform in the insulated communist country. North Korean officials broadcast the concert nationwide and internationally, and it is now captured on a new DVD titled The Pyongyang Concert.
Schaefer, who covered the event for WNYC, says "this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The whole orchestra was on a kind of rush of adrenaline: Everybody was on edge; the playing was really heartfelt. It was more than a musical event."