The DPRK NSO is a fully-professional orchestra and is the premiere Western-classical style orchestra of North Korea. The orchestra co-hosted and performed with the New York Philharmonic in 2008 in Pyongyang. The orchestras members are all trained in the Western Conservatory tradition. A number of the musicians and conductors were educated in world renowned institutions such as the Tchaikovsky Institute in Moscow or the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria and the remaining number of the musicians graduated from premier music schools in North Korea.
As many world renowned classical music artists such as Sumi Jo, Chung Kyung Hwa, Paik Kun-woo and Sarah Chang have originated from or are children of those who originated from South Korea, North Koreans are also Koreans and share a similar history and cultural affinity to and value of music and the fine arts. We hope this tour will showcase to the American audience that despite what is portrayed in the popular news media; North Korean society is also multi-dimensional and consists of many talented artists and musicians.
Maestro Jang, Ryong Sik
Maestro Jang was born on June 8, 1954 in Sinuiju City, North Pyongan Province, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Maestro Jang is a highly regarded composer in his home country, with a wide-ranging catalogue of works written primarily over the last dozen years. A graduate of the Pyongyang Music and Dance University in Pyongyang, DPRK (the capital of North Korea), he completed his post-graduate work in Moscow at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory majoring in conducting. Maestro Jang, Ryong Sik is considered the premier conductor in the DPRK and nearly all the most famous musical pieces in North Korea are either arranged or conducted by Maestro Jang.
From 1984 until 1985, Maestro Jang was the conductor for the Mansudae Art Troupe and in 1986 until 2007 he was a conductor for both the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble and the National Symphony Orchestra. Since 2007 he has been exclusively the Master Conductor of the DPRK National Symphony Orchestra.
Maestro Jang was instrumental in the success of the 2008 collaborative effort with the New York Philharmonic, working directly with Maestro Lorin Maazel to complete this ground-breaking event. He has committed to work with GRS in a collaborative effort to continue in the spirit of reconciliation to perform across the United States of America.
Conductor Chae, Ju Hyok
A promising 28-year-old conductor, Chae, Ju Hyok, won "The People's Prize" for his conducting and rendering of the DPRK symphonic work ,The Blue Sky Over My Country. Conductor Chae has become a regular artistic performer featured by the NSO in major concerts. He has conducted orchestral pieces created by Yun I Sang and by contemporary noted composers of many countries.
Conductor Chae, Ju Hyok majored in piano at the Pyongyang Kim Wong Gyun Conservatory and majored in conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria.