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Daniel Barenboim receives 2011 Tolerance Award

20 AUG 2011

published in: Concert, General

Daniel Barenboim, Felix Unger, Photo: Wolfgang Lienbacher
Since 1997, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts has sponsored a Tolerance Award, with the support of the Salzburger Nachrichten. It goes to personalities whose activism and personal behavior is a model of tolerance, and who help promote the ideal of tolerance in society. During past years Teddy Kollek was among the recipients, as were the International Red Cross, Cardinal König and Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

This year, the conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim will be honored for his artistic initiatives in support of tolerance. Barenboim was born in 1942 in Buenos Aires and moved to Israel in 1952. Both his parents were piano teachers, and he had his first appearance as a pianist performing with an orchestra at the age of eight. He studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and took conducting courses in Salzburg with Igor Markevitch. His first career was as a concert pianist, starting in 1965, and the second one, as a conductor, was not long in coming. He has conducted all over the world, and today holds the position of General Music Director of the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, has been Chief Conductor of the Berlin Staatskapelle since 2000, and has had a close working relationship with La Scala Milano since the 2007-2008 season.

Together with the Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said, he founded a workshop in 1999 in which young musicians from Israel and the Arab countries could play together. From this initiative, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra developed, which has occupied a fixed place on the international music scene for more than ten years. The goal of this orchestra, which is made up in equal parts of Israeli and Arab as well as a few Spanish musicians, is to promote dialogue between the cultures – a role model for the implementation of the principles of equality, cooperation and justice.

Daniel Barenboim received the 2011 Tolerance Award after the concert of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra from the President of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, Felix Unger.