1 -- Listening now on WFMT to the delayed from this morning [Pyongyang is 15 hours ahead of Chicago] but "live" broadcast of the New York Philharmonic's North Korean concert, I recall that my lifelong friend [OK, he's two days older than I am, but that still makes him my lifelong friend] and percussion whiz Erik Charlston joined the Phil's tour for the Beijing and North Korea concerts in his role as regular supplemental player. I'll be very curious to hear Erik's impressions as well, of course, of those of the orchestra's artistic administrator, another former -- and much missed -- Chicagoan, Matías Tarnopolsky (on the left in the photo).
2 -- Just back from interviewing Tom Hayden for the Sun-Times in conjunction with the upcoming release of the new and rather brilliant documentary on the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago and the 1969 Chicago Conspiracy Trial, Chicago 10 by Brett Morgen (2002's Robert Evans documentary The Kid Stays in the Picture). Watch this space for notice of the article, but I wanted to mention now that Hayden is a very youthful 68 (he's exactly 20 years older than I -- a lot of people born in mid-December in years ending in "9" in this post) and was not only well-spoken, but deeply thoughtful, very funny, generous, and remarkably self-deprecating. He also has a new book (one of many he's authored, edited, or contributed to) coming out of 50 years of writing, Writings For A Democratic Society: The Tom Hayden Reader, from Lawrence Ferlinghetti's still indispensable City Lights Books in San Francisco's North Beach. It was also good meeting Sun-Times photog Chris Sweda.
3 -- Scheduled WFMT tapings today for this week with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, now appearing as Rosina in The Barber of Seville at Lyric Opera of Chicago, and with University of Chicago-based composer Howard Sandroff and piano hero Abe Stokman discussing Sandroff's works and career. We''ll keep you posted on these.