This site is still work in progress, and will be developed further when time permits.
We have thus far seen two ensembles with the name Samjiyon, namely a “Band” and an “Orchestra”. The two are probably different in a strict organizational sense, but there is deep historical continuity between them, both in terms of personnel, and in terms of the basic concept of the ensemble. Samjiyon B/O has throughout its history been a civilian, feminine (always over 50% female), and artistically high class chamber orchestra playing both North Korean and international music in a light popular style. Over the past 9 years they have never worn military dress in published concerts and photos, nor have they performed military songs except in special circumstances, and they have never been heard performing the North Korean national anthem (we do not understand why). Anyway, the concept of the ensemble has systematically been maintained as civilian, which perhaps was the basic reason why it was chosen for the central cultural diplomatic operation in South Korea in February 2018. At that time it was surprising, as the SB had not been a widely known orchestra, but with hindsight developed over the creation of this site the decision now looks absolutely understandable. Because of this deep continuity in its non-military concept, we see the organizational changes only as stages in the development of the ensemble.
A lot of help was received from Mizuno Naoki and Mori Tomo.
Names of the ensemble and tentative translations in some languages
만수대예술단 삼지연악단 2009-2017
Mansudae yesuldan Samjiyŏn Aktan = Three Deep Ponds Music Group of the Longevity Hill Art Troupe = Samjiyon Band of the Mansudae Art Troupe
Pitkäniänkukkulan taidejoukkojen Kolmisyvälammen musiikkiryhmä
Långlivsbackets kunsttruppens Tredjupdammets musikgrupp
Musikgruppe Drei-tiefe-Teiche der Kunsttrupp Langelebenhügel
삼지연관현악단 2018 –
Samjiyŏn kwanyŏn aktan = Three Deep Ponds Symphony Music Group = Samjiyon Orchestra
Kolmisyvälammen sinfoninen musiikkiryhmä
Tredjupdammets sinfonisk musikgrupp
Sinfonische Musikgruppe Drei-tiefe-Teiche
The Samjiyon Band was established in January 2009 as a section within the large Mansudae Art Troupe. This information comes from the Korean Wikipedia page on the band, with a reference to this publication: 공동연구 오양열, 전영선 (2011). 《북한 문화예술 현황분석 연구》. 서울시: 한국문화관광연구원, 120쪽. As none of us has seen the book itself, we do not claim that to be an absolute truth.
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