Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires in 1942. Ever since his conducting debut in 1967 in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim has been in great demand with leading orchestras around the world. Between 1975 and 1989, he was principal conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, where he often performed contemporary works by composers such as Lutoslawski, Berio, Boulez, Henze, Dutilleux, and Takemitsu and others. Daniel Barenboim gave his debut as an opera conductor at the Edinburgh Festival in 1973 with Mozart's Don Giovanni. In 1981, he conducted for the first time in Bayreuth, where he would conduct every summer for the next eighteen years, until 1999. During this time, he conducted Tristan und Isolde, Ring des Nibelungen, Parsifal, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Between 1991 and June 2006, Daniel Barenboim held the position of Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2006 the musicians of the orchestra named him Honorary Conductor for Life. Since 1992, Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where he was also artistic director from 1992 to August 2002. In 2000, the Staatskapelle Berlin appointed him Principal Conductor for Life. Both in the opera as well as the on the concert stage, Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin have acquired a large repertoire of symphonic works. The cyclical performances and recordings of all operas by Richard Wagner at the Staatsoper and of all symphonies by Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann were met with universal with praise. At the FESTTAGE 2007 Daniel Barenboim and Pierre Boulez performed the complete cycle of symphonies of Gustav Mahler at the Berlin Philharmonie. Beside the great classic-romantic repertoire, Daniel Barenboim continues to focus on contemporary music. The premiere of Elliot Carter's only opera What next? took place at the Staatsoper. The Staatskapelle's concert repertoire regularly includes compositions of Boulez, Rihm, Mundry, Carter and Höller for example. In summer of 2005, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra presented a concert of historical significance in the Palestinian city of Ramallah, which was broadcast on television and recorded on DVD. Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said were awarded the Príncipe de Asturias Prize in the Spanish town of Oviedo for their peace efforts in 2002. In November of the same year, Daniel Barenboim was awarded the Tolerance Prize by the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing as well as Germany's Großes Verdienstkreuz mit Stern, the Buber-Rosenzweig-Medaille, the Wolf Foundation's Arts Prize in the Knesset in Jerusalem, the Peace Prize by the Korn and Gerstenmann Foundation in Frankfurt . In addition Daniel Barenboim was also presented with the "Kulturgroschen," the highest honour awarded by the Deutscher Kulturrat, the international Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis as well as the Goethe medal. Between January and April 2006 Barenboim delivered the BBC Reith Lectures, and in September 2006 he gave a six part lecture series at Harvard University as Charles Eliot Norton Professor. In 2007 he was awarded with the Hessische Friedenspreis and the Goethe-Medal. In the same year he received the honorary doctorate of the University of Oxford and was given "la Cravate de Commandeur dans l'Ordre national de la Légion d'Honneur" by former French President Jacques Chirac. In October 2007, Daniel Barenboim was also awarded with the prize for art and culture "Praemium Imperiale" by the Japanese imperial family. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, named Daniel Barenboim UN messenger of peace in September 2007. In 2007, he was also awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, one of the most prestigious honours in classical music. In May 2008, he became honorary citizen of the city of Buenos Aires (ciudadano ilustre). In February 2009, he was awarded the Moses Mendelssohn Medal for his contribution to tolerance and international understanding. With the opening of the season 2007-2008 Daniel Barenboim began a close relationship with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan as "Maestro Scaligero" where he will conduct opera and concert performances and play in chamber music concerts. Daniel Barenboim has published a number of books: the autobiography A Life in Music, and Parallels and Paradoxes, which he wrote together with Edward Said. In the summer of 2008, his new book Everything is Connected was published. Together with Patrice Chéreau, he recently published Dialoghi su musica e teatro.