A British star in the West-Eastern Divanmain
A poignant moment for the Czech-born composer, Alexander Goldscheider. Read through to the end for the triple-whammy:
Today brought me so much joy and happiness that it is hard to contain it in words.
Our grandson Ben Goldscheider played in a very special charity concert with the unique West-Eastern Divan Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim to commemorate Jacqueline du Pré (Barenboim’s music partner and wife) and to raise money to STOP MS (Multiple Sclerosis).
Three key moments combined for me, one of which I never witnessed in my entire life. Ben played, and gorgeously so, a wonderful long horn solo in the Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, and Daniel Barenboim, having singled out Ben in a standing ovation that followed, turned after a while to the Royal Festival Hall, silenced it completely, pointed to Ben and proudly announced: “He is British!”
To all the patriotic remark was in relation to the fact, that the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is a brilliant youth orchestra consisting primarily of musicians from the Middle East, Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs, and Ben, albeit with Central European Jewish background, is not a typical member.
To me, who came to the UK as a political refugee in 1981, it means so much more: when you are 31 and leave everything behind, you think of the future for your children and their children more than of your own. Becoming British ten years later is a huge privilege, but again it is your children and their children who are truly British. And when one the world’s best ever musicians, a true genius, shows your grandson to thousands in a phenomenal concert and shouts “He is British,” it is a circle that is so wonderfully, unbelievably completed!!!
The whole concert was poignant to me as I have lived with MS for 22 years myself, so far very merciful, but to see my grandson playing a part in a fight against it was unforgettable.