In Berlin, Barenboim-Said Academy launches with 40 students

Posted on: December 12, 2016

“One of Daniel Barenboim’s visions for classical music, Berlin and the Middle East was achieved Thursday night when the Barenboim-Said Academy, named for the maestro and the Palestinian-American intellectual Edward Said, opened in the historic heart of the German capital,” writes Alison Smale in Friday’s (12/9) New York Times. Barenboim and Said “founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a project uniting Israeli and Arab musicians, in Weimar in 1999. They then set about raising funds for an academy that would offer music students from all over the Middle East training in classical music and philosophy, and other instruction in the arts…. The academy currently has just under 40 students, a total that is set to rise to 90 by the academic year 2018-19.… The German culture ministry provided two-thirds of the 35-million euro construction costs…. The building contains a brand new concert hall, designed pro bono by Frank Gehry and named after Pierre Boulez, an avid supporter of the idea and a good friend of Mr. Barenboim. Mr. Barenboim surprised the invited audience of some 400 by effectively inaugurating the hall, conducting a brief, unannounced concert by West-Eastern Divan Orchestra musicians, who played Haydn and Mozart.”

Posted December 12, 2016