Saturday, January 26, 2013

Inside Barenboim's West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

In just three and a half minutes, this inspiring video proves to us that the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is more than just an orchestra, that Daniel Barenboim is more than just a conductor and that music really can build deep bridges when given the chance. Here, some of the musicians tell us their own story.

The film was made for the Wall Street Journal by Clemency Burton-Hill, who has also written an article on the new Barenboim-Said Academy that's about be founded in Berlin:
A new project that unites conductor Daniel Barenboim, architect Frank Gehry and Brown University will test whether music really is the universal language—by bringing together students from the Middle East in an ambitious curriculum.
The Barenboim-Said Academy, to be based in Berlin beginning in 2015, won't only offer a standard two-year music diploma. It will also be a "world awareness" academy: Up to 100 music students, aged 17 to 20 and hailing from Israel and its neighbors, will study world affairs, politics and the humanities, as well as Arabic and Hebrew. The German government has pledged almost $27 million over the next four years for the project.
"Music is often taught as if it exists in an ivory tower" and is seen as a distraction, a beautiful place to hide, Mr. Barenboim said. He added, "I want to fight that." ...
Read the whole thing in the WSJ here.