Improbable Journeys: the New York Philharmonic in North Korea and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in America – Eric Latzky and Matías Tarnopolsky


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An RSAA panel with Eric Latzky and Matías Tarnopolsky, from our series: Culture, Conflict and Recovery in Asia.

Music has the power to build bridges in seemingly intractable arenas. Whether a highly negotiated destination concert, a celebratory musical event joining multiple cultures, or the employment of orchestral structure to advance cooperation, the ideal of cultural diplomacy can serve as a portal, an opening to progress. Eric Latzky will explore the unlikely circumstances that lead to two musical journeys, each imbued with historic weight, transformation, and hope.

Eric Latzky is a communications strategist in the world of arts and ideas, cultural diplomacy, media, and cultural corporate sponsorship. He has created complex projects for high level clients on sophisticated global cultural platforms. From 2000 to 2012, he was head of communications of the New York Philharmonic, where he oversaw the orchestra’s historic visit to Pyongyang in 2008. In 2013 he formed Eric Latzky Culture | Communications NY – ELCCNY – to create strategies for an international clientele. In 2018 he lead communications for the US tour of Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, comprising young Israeli, Palestinian, and other Arab musicians.

Matías Tarnopolsky is President and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center. He is a passionate believer in the arts as a unifying force, helping to form connections, spark conversations, and offer strength and solace. Tarnopolsky received degrees in music and musicology from the University of London’s King’s College. In 2013, he was named one of Musical America’s international “Movers & Shakers: 30 Key Influencers in the Performing Arts” and was selected as Classical Music “MVP” by the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2015 he was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture.