‘There’s still high culture in America’: Why the National Symphony Orchestra went to Moscow // washingtonpost.com
The National Symphony Orchestra had just finished its first performance in Russia in nearly a quarter of a century. It arrived at a time when official relations between the United States and Russia are, to put it mildly, fraught. And it demonstrated that, at a time when political rhetoric is heated, music may be offering the real language of diplomacy, formalized and couched in centuries of tradition. Indeed, it wasn’t even clear whether people were clapping for what they had just heard or for what this visit represented.
Sometimes a concert is just a concert. And sometimes it dips its toe into the complex world of cultural diplomacy.