Berlin whispers: Barenboim is heading for Iran

Berlin whispers: Barenboim is heading for Iran


norman lebrecht

July 08, 2015

Sources deep within the Staatskapelle in Berlin are telling us that the orchestra has been asked to accompany Chancellor Angela Merkel to Teheran in October for the signing of the nuclear agreement – if it is finalised by then.

Visas are being quietly requested by the Staatsoper for the orchestra, and for its music director Daniel Barenboim, whose first passport is Israeli. Barenboim also holds Spanish and Palestinian passports. Guess which one he will show in Teheran.




  • ruben greenberg says:

    Barenboim should be a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. I don’t know how much peace he has brought into the world, but he has certainly tried.

    • Patrick says:

      I would second Mr. Greenberg’s nomination. Is the Nobel committee listening?

      His proselytizing for classical music also earns high marks.

    • jaypee says:

      That’s exactly what I was thinking when I saw the title of this entry.
      Thanks for mentioning it…
      The world needs more Daniel Baremboim.

  • Martin Shore says:

    I don’t know about Barenboim, but the young members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra should be nominated. Theirs is the bravery.

  • Neil van der Linden says:

    I assume he will use his Spanish or German passport. Palestinian passports don’t get anybody anywhere..

    • Simon S. says:

      Though it wiould be a real sign of peace if he used his Israeli one *and* could enter Iran without any trouble.

      BTW: Being born in Buenos Aires, he should be an Argentinian citizen as well. AFAIK, Argentina, like most countries in the Americas applies the ius soli.

  • John Borstlap says:

    My own sources deep in the slums of Teheran have informed me that the real reason of the current delays and covert quarrels at the negotiation table in Vienna is the threat of Germany sending the Staatskapelle/Barenboim to Iran with a Wagner programme. Never before has classical music enjoyed such a role in deterrance, thanks to Barenboim’s politics which have brought peace to the Middle East and elsewhere.

    • Mark says:

      Nicely done 🙂 If that doesn’t scare the mullahs, Barenboim should threaten them with his piano playing !

      • John Borstlap says:

        …. which is not an imaginary threat: in the autumn of 2007, a CD with Barenboim’s reading of Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata was checked by the Committee for the Protection of Iranian Culture and played to the representative of the Holy Assemblee of the Book, mullah Ibn Ali al Sud, who had to be hospitalized immediately after the 1st movement.

  • Max Grimm says:

    Norman, DB’s first passport is Argentinian. He didn’t get an Israeli passport until 1952.