WFMT Press Room

For Immediate Release:

February 22, 2008

98.7WFMT to Broadcast Momentous New York Philharmonic Concert from Pyongyang, North Korea

WFMT's Mark Travis To Host

Concert will also air as part of the Great Performances television series on Thursday, February 28 from 8-10:00 pm on WTTW11.

Chicago, IL – 98.7WFMT, Chicago's Classical Experience will broadcast an unprecedented New York Philharmonic concert from Pyongyang, North Korea on Tuesday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. WFMT's own Mark Travis is traveling with the New York Philharmonic and will host the broadcast. The entire broadcast will also be heard live online through WFMT's enhanced web streaming at and is being made available to other radio stations via the WFMT Radio Network.

WFMT's Mark Travis produces the WFMT Radio Network's weekly broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic. "The chance to travel through Asia with the New York Philharmonic and host this significant concert broadcast is a real honor," said Travis via telephone from Shanghai. "I can feel everyone's excitement about the upcoming performance in Pyongyang and am really looking forward to sharing this experience with listeners around the world."

The concert will begin with the National Anthem of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, followed by The Star Spangled Banner. Conducted by Philharmonic Music Director Lorin Maazel, the program will feature Wagner's Prelude to Act III of Lohengrin, Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, From The New World, and Gershwin's An American in Paris.

The New York Philharmonic, with the encouragement and support of the U.S. Department of State, accepted this unprecedented invitation by North Korea to perform a concert in the capitol city of Pyongyang. The concert, which will be the centerpiece of a 48-hour visit, will take place at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre. In addition to the concert, Korean music conservatory students will have the opportunity to attend master classes by Philharmonic musicians, as well as the orchestra's rehearsal.

"This journey is a manifestation of the power of music to unite people," said Zarin Mehta, President and Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic. "It is our sincere hope that these concerts will aid in the beginning of a new era between the peoples of our nations."

Music Director Lorin Maazel also commented, "I look forward with great eagerness to this opportunity to lead the magnificently talented musicians of the New York Philharmonic in Pyongyang, to bring to that audience the beauty and brilliance of the art form with which I have lived my entire life. I have always felt that music is a powerful language in which those of us who are humane and intelligent can speak to each other, in defiance of political and cultural boundaries. I hope that these two days will not only include stellar music-making, but will represent the beginning of a friendship that will continue to grow after the Orchestra has returned to New York."

WFMT Media Contact:
Holly H. Gilson
98.7WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network
(773) 509-5424

WFMT Contact:
David Polk
98.7WFMT and the WFMT Radio Network
(773) 279-2011