Barenboim leads panel on Arab Spring at conclusion of 2011 West-Eastern Divan Orchestra workshop

SEVILLE, Spain—As the 2011 workshop of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra  drew to a close, the musicians attended a symposium on “The Arab Spring – Its Meaning and Future." The panellists – Egyptian journalist Sharif Abdel Koudous, Lebanese political researcher Ziad Majed, Israeli publicist Dimi Reider and Arab-American scholar Moustafa Bayoumi – led an animated discussion about the recent revolutionary uprisings in the Arab world, focussing on the events in Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria, and their impact on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  Daniel Barenboim said after the panel, “This is one of those few moments in history were events occur vertically, without warning, and fundamentally change the world we are living in. In that sense, the revolutions of the Arab Spring are as significant as the fall of the Berlin Wall or September 11.  We are witnessing people reclaiming their countries and their human dignity, after decades of being subjugated to autocratic rulers.  This is a historic opportunity for change in the region and the world.”  Click here to see photos from the panel and rehearsals.

Following concerts with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Seville (July 31) and Madrid (August 1), Daniel Barenboim will lead the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in its debut concerts on the Asian continent as part of their “Beethoven for All” tour.  The first performance on August 5 will take place at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, China and is shortly followed by two concerts at Shanghai’s Underground Cultural Plaza Theater on August 7 and 8.  The orchestra and conductor then head to Seoul, South Korea for a four-night presentation of the complete Beethoven symphony cycle from August 10 to 14 at the Seoul Arts Center.  The next day, August 15, Barenboim will lead the WEDO in a special performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in Imjingak, South Korea, which lies near the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.  The concert, which is being held on Liberation Day in Korea, is being presented in the hopes that it will promote peace on the Korean peninsula.  

Earlier this month, on July 13, Barenboim inaugurated the Edward Said Hall at the Palestinian Medical Relief Society in Ramallah. He performed Beethoven’s “Trio in c minor,” among other pieces, with young Palestinian music students. To watch a video, click here:

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