On July 10, Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra—the ensemble that he co-founded with Edward Said, comprising musicians from Israel and other Arab countries—kick off an extensive summer tour of Europe with a concert at the Philharmonie im Gasteig in Munich. Playing the Fifth and Sixth symphonies, this concert marks the first in a sustained focus on Beethoven's symphonies cycle by Maestro Barenboim and the orchestra during 2012 and 2013.
Concerts in Vienna and Geneva follow, before the orchestra takes up residence in London's Royal Albert Hall for four sold-out BBC Proms concerts, during which it performs all nine of Beethoven's symphonies as well as works by Pierre Boulez. The tour continues later in the summer with concerts in Germany and Austria.
This Beethoven symphony cycle—which sold out Royal Albert Hall weeks ahead of time—is what Carnegie Hall audiences have the opportunity to experience when Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra travel to Carnegie Hall for four nights in early 2013. In its second trip to the Hall—the first taking place six years ago—the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra performs nos. 1, 5, and 8 on January 30; No. 3 ("Eroica") and No. 4 on January 31; No. 6 ("Pastoral") and No. 7 on February 2; and nos. 2 and 9 on February 3.
For Maestro Barenboim, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is proof "that people who listen to each other, both musically and in all other ways, can achieve greater things." Audiences who witness the playing and “youthful gusto and enthusiasm” (The Independent) of the musicians during these concerts will come away in agreement.
Daniel Barenboim and musicians of the orchestra discuss life in the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the Beethoven symphony cycles project.
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