The origins of the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble lie in the conversations between its founders, Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim. Over the course of their great friendship, the Palestinian author/scholar and Israeli conductor/pianist discussed ideas on music, culture, and humanity. In their exchanges, they realized the urgent need for an alternative way to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. An opportunity came when Barenboim and Said initiated a workshop using their experience as a model, and the collaboration evolved in 1999 into the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra that global audiences know today—the highly praised artistic parent of the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble. Both ensembles are composed of Arab and Israeli musicians, defying fierce political divides to make music together. Led by its concertmaster, violinist Michael Barenboim—who as a soloist has recently appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony Orchestra—the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble demonstrates that bridges can be built to encourage people to listen to the narrative of others.
Schubert: Rondo in A Major, D. 438
Brahms: String Sextet No. 1
Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat Major, Op. 20