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Barenboim will create centre for Arabic music in Berlin

June 8, 2017 by norman lebrecht

29 comments.


He’ll incorporate it in his Said Academy, he says, making the Pierre Boulez Saal the most important venue for Arabic music in Europe.

Report here.


Comments (29)

  1. Alexander says:

    will he rehearse Koran’s surahs or just adapt Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade to his new listeners taste ?

      1. Alexander says:

        πŸ™‚

    1. Brendan O'Dowda says:

      More like Percy French’s Abdul abulbul Amir more like.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIzVXxs0EyU

      1. Alexander says:

        you’ve got a score for self-PR Mr.O’Dowda πŸ˜‰

        1. Brendan O'Dowda says:

          I collect Percy’s watercolours and have some Jarvey’s and signed programmes and other things, the collection in Bangor is worth viewing. I have given recitals at weddings and wakes! The latter involves drink!

          1. Alexander says:

            speaking about watercolours I reminisce of Richard Bonington’s works, his yachts and drifters in the sea …. could relate this kind of art to impressionism more than to others … booze sounds interesting πŸ˜‰

        2. Brendan O'Dowda says:

          Yes here you will find the score to Percy French’s Abdul Abulbul Amir, you should join the PF society!

          http://imslp.org/wiki/Abdul_Abulbul_Amir_(French,_Percy)

          I have tweaked it for banjo solo and also have done it with a line up of 24 banjos, which makes a great sound. I also do Bertie Wooster songs, like the Lady of Spain. With my pals we with put on a minstrel show for a very important wake and we grease painted up our faces, wearing natty boaters and blazers, all very politically incorrect these days but the audience loved it.

          1. Alexander says:

            sounds like you’ve had a lot of fun in your days πŸ˜‰ are you on Facebook?

        3. Brendan O'Dowda says:

          Sorry don’t do Facebook, we just do the odd concert for pocket money now and help to stock up the wine cellar etc! Rossini was the same, except is was food for him!

          1. Alexander says:

            hopefully Brendan O’Dowda ( that in the vdeo) would be pleased with your antics πŸ˜‰

  2. Elizabeth Owen says:

    If you don’t have anything sensible to say please resist the temptation.

    1. Kypros Markou says:

      Absolutely right! Thank you.

  3. Erin go Bragh says:

    You folk are so boring, no sense of humour at all. Who would want to listen to Arab music after 9/11 etc etc anyhow mad idea. We are under siege for heavens sake.

  4. harold braun says:

    Why?Phoney PR stunt…

  5. Myrtar says:

    How uninteresting, I bet the audience is dying for it.

  6. Alex says:

    That Barenboim would extend his humanitarian views in this manner doesn’t surprise me, as it comes as a natural consequence of the marvelous East-West Divan project and so many years and decades of work towards understanding between sibling cultures. What surprises me is that there are those who still don’t consider it a good idea, or even mock or disdain such efforts. What is the alternative? Eternal antagonism? We’ve come too far as a species to allow ourselves to deteriorate into small camps. The world will be a far better place to live when there will be more whites than blacks in the MLK Parade, more straight men than gays in the Gay Pride Parade, more Men than Women fighting for gender equality, and, like Barenboim, more Jews reaching out to their Muslim/Arab brothers, and vice-versa. Of course it can be done. Barenboim is doing it.

    1. Mark says:

      I am breathlessly awaiting a major Muslim musician establishing a center for Jewish music.

      1. Christopher Culver says:

        You can take a breath now. The Aga Khan (the hereditary leader of the Ismaili Muslims) has often funded performances of Jewish music traditions, even specifically music from Israel.

        1. Mark says:

          He said a major Muslim MUSICIAN. Apparently your reflexive, bleeding heart, pollyannaish outlook caused you to misread his statement.
          Of course, Barenboim is barely Jewish, so maybe the point is moot.

          1. Christopher Culver says:

            While the Aga Khan is not a musician himself, he is, as a generous patron with deep pockets and wide tastes, a significant figure in the music world.

          2. Bruce says:

            What does “barely Jewish” mean?

        2. Mark says:

          Intersting fact, although Ismailis are a relatively small and atypical sect within Shia Islam and their attitudes to the West and Jews and Christians are usually very different from the Islamic mainstream.

          1. Nick says:

            To put it simply: BARELY JEWISH means that Mr. Barenboim is basically what is known as a Jew-anti-Semite, a “special” breed of assholes, of which there are unfortunately too many. This is the most disgusting breed. These are people who SELL their own people to Arabs, to anybody in the name of political correctness and advancement of their own careers, to anybody, who wants to see the total destruction of Israel.
            Shame!!!

    2. Dan P. says:

      Alex – I agree with you 100%. It may be reflexive for some to eternally think of the world as us against them (whoever “us” and “them” might be) but, as history shows, this doesn’t get us very far.

    3. Nick says:

      @Alex.
      “…Barenboim would extend his humanitarian views in this manner doesn’t surprise me, as it comes as a natural consequence of the marvelous East-West Divan project and so many years and decades of work towards understanding between sibling cultures. What surprises me is that there are those who still don’t consider it a good idea, or even mock or disdain such efforts”. Alex –

      Really? So many years of so called “Divan” orchestra and the Palestinians still want to erase Israel off the face of the Earth. So, what did Barenboim achieve with his projects? – so far NOTHING! And this new so called project will achieve the same – NOTHING. Neither Palestinian leaders, nor Iran ayatollahs want Israel to exist, and only sheer FORCE political, military and any other might achieve something, if at all.
      So I am not surprised at all that Barenboim achieved nothing and that the majority of normal thinking people understand the futility of any similar effort by any other big name musician, artist, cultural ambassador. All these efforts are fruitless. Time has proven that.

      Another detail: both Hews and Muslims coming from semitic group of peoples, Jews and Muslims are not “brothers”. The cultures, languages, history and many other factors are entirely different, the main being: Jews – the oppressed and Muslims – the oppressors.

      This Center for Arabic Music (why in Berlin of all places and not in Oman or Qatar?) is just another politically correct PR stunt by Mr. Barenboim who is obviously very bored with his life.

      1. John Borstlap says:

        Cultural initiatives are symbolic by nature. Art forms are not responsible for the misunderstanding of people. Classical music making is not politics.

  7. Nick says:

    I have been posting on this blog for years using the name “Nick”. I wish it to be known that I have no connection to the other Nick who writes so disgracefully in this thread.

  8. Joseph Pilates says:

    What hope has the world got for peace and prosperity with racist arseholes on this platform spouting Israeli ‘virtues’!!!!?


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