Barenboim leads pickup orchestra in Gaza

Posted on: May 4, 2011

In Wednesday’s (5/4) New York Times, Michael Kimmelman writes, “The program was perfectly normal: a pair of beloved Mozart chestnuts (‘A Little Night Music’ and the G minor Symphony), before a lunchtime crowd in a local cultural center. But the concert could hardly have been more out of the ordinary. Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli conductor, led an orchestra of two dozen elite musicians—volunteers from the Berlin Philharmonic, the Berlin Staatskapelle, the Orchestra of La Scala in Milan, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Paris—into Gaza Tuesday. … ‘This is meant to demonstrate European solidarity with Gazan civil society,’ Mr. Barenboim said in an interview beforehand, careful to separate the event from the militant Palestinian group Hamas, the ruling authority in Gaza, whose involvement was kept to an absolute minimum. … Older Gazans, several fighting back tears, said they could not remember anything like this—a group of world-famous musicians coming to give a concert here. Receiving basic supplies is a daily struggle for Gazans. Culture of this sort, which people elsewhere take for granted, has long been unthinkable.”

Posted May 4, 2011