The First Two Weeks of the West-Eastern Divan Workshop and Tour

Rehearsals for this summer’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra tour began on July 23rd in Pilas, Spain at the Lantana Hostel, a rural campus with dormitories, a swimming pool, and rehearsal facilities.

Barenboim arrived on July 26th and spent the following week rehearsing with the young musicians of the West-Eastern Divan. In addition to learning the symphonic program of Liszt, Wagner, and Berlioz in a relatively short period of time (see performances for complete program information), Barenboim and the orchestra faced and tackled the challenge of studying Fidelio, the first complete opera in the Divan’s repertoire to this date.

The president of Andalusia José Antonio Griñán joined Mariam Said and Daniel Barenboim at a press conference in Pilas preceding the orchestra’s first concerts in Seville.

In celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, the city of Berlin is planning various commemorative activities; one of these is the “Domino Action,” an installation of a series of over one thousand “dominoes” between Potsdamer Platz and the Reichstag to be toppled mechanically. The final twenty dominoes in the chain will be rendered horizontal by prominent personalities, one of them being Daniel Barenboim. For the occasion, a “domino” was delivered to Pilas to be painted by the members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, and the more artistically inclined musicians spent their free day on August 4th decorating their domino with sayings and pictures.

See photo album for corresponding photos

All photos: Manuel Vaca © 2009

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