Top conductor Daniel Barenboim issues a call for European patriotism after Brexit

The maestro and Music Director of Berlin State Opera has expressed his sadness at the United Kingdon's decision to leave the European Union.

Natalie Wheen's Great Performers, Classic FM

In the wake of Brexit, the conductor, pianist and political commentator has called on the entire EU to adopt a substantial unifying idea than simply joint trade and a single currency.

This is Barenboim's blog post in full:

On Brexit

"The vote in favor of Brexit is, in my view, a very sad decision for Great Britain and Europe. It is, however, senseless to bathe in pessimism and desperation as Brexit is now an unchangeable historical fact.

The best thing to do now is to analyze both the extremist and populist motivations behind the vote to leave, and the serious issues requiring improvement.

The construction of the EU is far from ideal. Europe consists of so many different peoples, cultures, and languages that the EU requires a much more substantial unifying idea than simply joint trade and a single currency.

There are now two possible reactions:

To lament Brexit and watch extremist movements in other countries such as France and the Netherlands seeking to follow the example of Great Britain.

Or, to think about necessary improvements for the EU and to work together towards a true spirit of unity and collaboration, especially in finding a global solution for the refugee crisis and not an exclusively European one.

Nationalism is the opposite of true patriotism, and the further fostering of nationalist sentiment would be the worst case-scenario for us all. Instead, we need a unifying, European patriotism. In the spirit of Kennedy’s words, we need to ask not what Europe can do for us, but we can do to fortify, solidify and unify Europe."


Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim Pianist and Conductor Daniel Barenboim

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