4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Wave of the baton creates political intrigue

Daniel Barenboim's global approach has displeased major powers

Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim
Video:

Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 (Proms 2012)

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at 2012 BBC Proms with Barenboim

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at 2012 BBC Proms with Barenboim

Politics in classical music is not new. Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Shostakovich, and countless other composers were politically active and, at times, censored. Almost every mid-20th-century conductor, singer, and instrumental soloist was politicized by World War II. Now it's the Middle East's turn.

Argentinian-Israeli Daniel Barenboim is one of the most respected conductors of classical music in the world, depending on who you talk to. The Guardian is reporting that Barenboim has plans to conduct a concert in Tehran and Israel isn’t happy about it.

In 1999, Barenboim co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Palestinian-American academic Edward Said. It is a youth orchestra composed of musicians from Israel, Palestine, Egypt and other Arab countries, including Iran. The orchestra exists to promote understanding.

The relationship between Israel and Barenboim has been strained for more than a decade. Barenboim was the first to conduct the music of Wagner in the state of Israel. There has been an informal ban on Wagner’s music in Israel because it was used by the Nazis and because of Wagner’s own anti-Semitic writings.

Barenboim played Wagner as an encore in a 2001 concert after asking the audience if they wanted to hear Wagner. A 30-minute debate ensued, and some patrons left the concert angry after calling Barenboim a fascist. The majority of the audience stayed and gave Barenboim a standing ovation.

Since that time Barenboim has been critical of the conservative Israeli government and has been supportive of the human rights of Palestinians and has advocated for the two-state solution. Now he is taking a German orchestra to Iran to perform.

Who knows what Israel’s response to the upcoming Tehran concert would have been if this had been any other conductor or an orchestra from any other country. As it is, Israel’s foreign minister is threatening to write a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and request that she prevent the concert from happening.

Barenboim is undeterred but has postponed the date of the concert in question.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Nathan Hubbard returns to La Cage aux Folles

“We’re downstairs in the pit”
Next Article

Gloria’s claims of tackling homelessness seen as cringey

Lou Correa wanted to study China at Kona Kai
Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim
Video:

Beethoven - Symphony No. 7 (Proms 2012)

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at 2012 BBC Proms with Barenboim

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at 2012 BBC Proms with Barenboim

Politics in classical music is not new. Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Shostakovich, and countless other composers were politically active and, at times, censored. Almost every mid-20th-century conductor, singer, and instrumental soloist was politicized by World War II. Now it's the Middle East's turn.

Argentinian-Israeli Daniel Barenboim is one of the most respected conductors of classical music in the world, depending on who you talk to. The Guardian is reporting that Barenboim has plans to conduct a concert in Tehran and Israel isn’t happy about it.

In 1999, Barenboim co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Palestinian-American academic Edward Said. It is a youth orchestra composed of musicians from Israel, Palestine, Egypt and other Arab countries, including Iran. The orchestra exists to promote understanding.

The relationship between Israel and Barenboim has been strained for more than a decade. Barenboim was the first to conduct the music of Wagner in the state of Israel. There has been an informal ban on Wagner’s music in Israel because it was used by the Nazis and because of Wagner’s own anti-Semitic writings.

Barenboim played Wagner as an encore in a 2001 concert after asking the audience if they wanted to hear Wagner. A 30-minute debate ensued, and some patrons left the concert angry after calling Barenboim a fascist. The majority of the audience stayed and gave Barenboim a standing ovation.

Since that time Barenboim has been critical of the conservative Israeli government and has been supportive of the human rights of Palestinians and has advocated for the two-state solution. Now he is taking a German orchestra to Iran to perform.

Who knows what Israel’s response to the upcoming Tehran concert would have been if this had been any other conductor or an orchestra from any other country. As it is, Israel’s foreign minister is threatening to write a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and request that she prevent the concert from happening.

Barenboim is undeterred but has postponed the date of the concert in question.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego Asian Film Festival 2021 sampler

Reviews of Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, Inside the Red Brick Wall, and Islands
Next Article

Bisbee’s Los Cabos tournament has a record weekend

Rough conditions in SoCal waters slows offshore fishing
Comments
1

Hasn't he heard of the penchant of the Iranians to take hostages? How would he feel if he and his entire ensemble were taken hostage and held for, oh, a year-and-a-half? Does he really think that the Iranians are in a welcoming mood? I'd say the man shows some signs of mental instability for that alone. The Iranians are a most unpredictable and bellicose nation now, and expecting anything from them is a crap-shoot.

Aug. 30, 2015

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close