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April 27, 2012

In the Arts: N. Korea Rocket Launch Could Scuttle Symphony Visit

A U.S. humanitarian group has postponed a planned American tour by North Korea's National Symphony Orchestra next month following Pyongyang's launch of a long-range missile, says Reuters.

Global Resource Services has been working to bring the Korean orchestra to at least three U.S. cities, but its executive director, Robert Springs, said that in the wake of the April 13 rocket test, "I decided the timing was not right."

The charity provides food aid and other assistance in North Korea and earlier this month coordinated a trip by an American chorus and orchestra to Pyongyang. Mr. Springs said the group is committed to rescheduling the visit "when the time is right," possibly this summer.

In other arts news, conductor Hugo Fiorato, a fixture with the New York City Ballet for more than half a century, died Monday at the age of 98, The New York Times reports.

A violin prodigy who performed at Carnegie Hall at age 6, Mr. Fiorato joined City Ballet as its first concertmaster in 1948 and held numerous positions, rising to principal conductor before retiring in 2004. He wielded the baton for thousands of performances, including hundreds of stagings of the company's signature holiday production of "The Nutcracker."