Daniel Barenboim conducted a peace concert in Gaza yesterday. The legendary musician directed the Orchestra for Gaza, consisting of 25 members of Staatskapelle Berlin, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and Orchestra of La Scala di Milano.
The concert was offered for the people of Gaza, and took place at the Al Mathaf Cultural House, attended by some 700 people. Barenboim addressed them at the start of the concert, saying the concert was taking place because “these are people who care about you, this is why we are here today... we are playing this concert as a sign of our solidarity and friendship with the civil society of Gaza.”
The orchestra entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt, via tight security on the Rafah border, to perform music including Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and Symphony No.40.
Al Mathaf Cultural House jointly organised the event with the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network and United Nations bodies. A documentary team accompanied Barenboim and the orchestra and filmed the performance.
In 2008 Daniel Barenboim took Palestinian citizenship in addition to his Israeli citizenship to demonstrate “it is possible to be both”. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra he founded with the late Palestinian academic Edward Said works to promote relations between young Israeli and Arab musicians.