Germany pumps millions into Barenboim’s Said Academy

The German government paid 20 million Euros for the conductor’s new Middle East  project in Berlin.

Culture minister Monika Grütters (below) has now committed to pay 5.5 million Euros a year for running costs.

Up to 100 Arab and Israeli students are expected to enrol.

The chamber music concert hall is a mini-marvel, designed by Frank Gehry and with acoustics by Yasuhisa Toyota.

 

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    • Nonsense, because the Israeli/Palestine problems cannot be solved by nice music making by mixed students. Barenboim’s project is purely symbolic, idealistic, and not practical – it was never meant as a practical thing.

  • Can someone point me in the direction of just ONE of Barenboims arab musicians who has gone back to Gaza and said to Hamas “what you are doing is wrong, we need a negotiated settlement with Israel” because you have to remember that the stated aim (in writing) of Hamas is the eradication of Israel from the map and the killing of all Jews.
    Barenboim is very good at posturing and uttering platitudes, but his orchestra has done absolutely nothing at all for the middle east peace process.

  • So I guess Barenboim should rather stand up with a white flag at the frontline and be killed in action for the greater good? He has a baton, not an AK-47, and uses it to his best knowledge in this ocean of pain and anger. He might not – will not – change anything in the outcome, but he might make some people think differently. This is already a huge achievement.

    • No one has suggested that Barenboim get on the front line with a white flag, nor take up arms with an AK47, but his naivety has to be questioned if he thinks his orchestra will make the slightest bit of difference. As regards “he might make people think differently”, precisely how will he do this? The ones that need to change are Hamas but they are hell bent on the destruction of Israel and a quick burst of Ravels Bolero isn’t going to do it for them, besides, for many of them, music is “haram”. Barenboim is touting round a second rate orchestra at best which will contribute absolutely nothing to the middle east peace process…………nice earner for him though!

      • Barenboim shows that there are human faculties transcending differences of politics and culture, and this happens on an entirely different level than where the actual violent problems happen. That is why, on a real world level, the exercise is pointless, but it can be understood as a symbol what would be possible if people would be less primitive and violent. Where people have rejected their humanity, or their possibility of humanizing and are merely cultivating their hatred, no civilized voice will ever penetrate that hard scale of numbness. But does that mean that this voice should not be heard? In contrary. But no practical results should be expected from it. Barenboim’s orchestra and academy puts to shame the violent hardliners in the Middle-East. Alas, they could not care less.

    • I can do it in words of one syllable or less if that will help you understand. And do explain what you find “desperately simplistic” about my analysis, let us hear yours also.

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