Daniel Barenboim’s East West Divan Orchestra:
This is an orchestra formed of young Arabs and Israelis based in Sevilla, Spain, once a centre of Islamic/Jewish harmony.
After the concert in Ramallah in 2005:
Finally, an emotional Barenboim stepped onto the platform. “It is our belief that the destinies of these two peoples, Israel and Palestine, are inextricably linked … either we all kill each other or we share what there is to share. It is this message that we have come here to bring.”
“The Divan is not a love story, and it is not a peace story. It has very flatteringly been described as a project for peace. It isn’t. It’s not going to bring peace, whether you play well or not so well. The Divan was conceived as a project against ignorance. A project against the fact that it is absolutely essential for people to get to know the other, to understand what the other thinks and feels, without necessarily agreeing with it. I’m not trying to convert the Arab members of the Divan to the Israeli point of view, and [I’m] not trying to convince the Israelis to the Arab point of view. But I want to – and unfortunately I am alone in this now that Edward died a few years ago – …create a platform where the two sides can disagree and not resort to knives.” Daniel Barenboim.
Here he is playing one of my favourite Beethoven Sonatas:
See: “An Orchestra Beyond Borders” by Elena Cheah, Pub: Verso, 2009.