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11 August 2014, 15:28
The Israeli-Argentinian conductor directed Israeli and Arab musicians in a concert on Sunday to promote peace in Gaza.
Music lovers in Buenos Aires took to the streets this weekend to support conductor Daniel Barenboim and his orchestra of Middle Eastern musicians in a concert designed to promote peace between Israel and Palestine. Thousands turned out to hear Vivaldi in Sunday's free outdoor performance played by the maestro's ensemble, made up by young Israeli and Palestinian musicians.
Barenboim, who holds both Israeli and Palestinian citizenship, had previously called for negotiation, empathy and compassion between the two states. He applauded the fact that the conflict did not prevent any member of the orchestra from engaging in this gesture of understanding and peace.
"The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is very sensitive to the situation in Middle East" he said in a statement before the concert. "The musicians have relatives on both sides, the sides that are killing each other and, despite this cruel war, there is no Arabic or Israeli musician who has canceled his participation in this concert for peace."
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was co-founded by Barenboim and Palestinian academic Edward Said in 1999 and aims to promote understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. Their tour continues with a performance of Wagner's Tristan and Isolde in Buenos Aires' Teatro Colón.