Barenboim flies into Israel for Zubin’s farewell

Barenboim flies into Israel for Zubin’s farewell


norman lebrecht

October 08, 2019

Daniel Barenboim has not been seen in Israel for several years, neither as a performer, nor at his wife’s Jerusalem chamber music festival.

The reasons are all too political.

But yesterday he was there, at Heichal Hatarbut, applauding his best pal Zubin Mehta in one of his last nights with the Philharmonic.

private photo

UPDATE: The pianist Denis Matsuev has posted a backstage photo, with the Bolshoi’s Ekaterina Shipulina:


  • Alexander says:

    you too ?

  • Eyal Braun says:

    Barenboim has not performed in Israel for nearly a decade.

    Very sad for us in Israel (though I was fortunate enough to attend many of his concerts and opera performances in Europe) .

    He says that he is feeling “unwelcomed” in Israel nowadays. It is of course political – but his unsuccessful efforts to perform Wagner in Israel is also an important reason for his absence from Israeli concerts hall.

    I hope this is a first step toward renewed cooperation between him and the IPO. He loves performing with Lahav Shani (who will be his soloist next week in Rach 3rd in Berlin!) and this could also be a trigger for hom to cime back to Israel…

    • Petros Linardos says:

      To what extent did Barenboim’s efforts to perform Wagner affect his relationship with Israel? Mehta tried too in the early 80s, with the IPO, unsuccessfully of course.

      • David says:

        Barenboim did more than make an effort. He promised his hosts that his German orchestra would NOT play Wagner at the festival in Israel they were invited to – – and he then did so anyway.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          That really is “bad manners”. Somehow not surprising from Barenboim who views it more important to make a statement than respect his hosts.

      • Gustavo says:

        Really hard to understand why Wagner is continually black-listed in Israel while “Ein Heldenleben” by Dr. Richard Strauss (Präsident der Reichsmusikkammer, with Dr. Furtwängler as deputy) is acceptable to celebrate Zube’s farewell.

        • Bonzini says:

          You don’t know your history. Richard Strauss was an old man already, and had no plans of leaving Germany. All through the war he protected his Jewish daughter in law from the Nazis.

        • Michael says:

          Music is above politics!!

          • Music is politics by other means.

          • Reader says:

            Not for DB. He feels he has the right to throw his opinions in people’s faces when they came to listen to music – and payed only for that. That has nothing to do with music. That’s a subtile form of violence, it seems many can do without.

        • Petros Linardos says:

          Hitler idolized Wagner and had a strong reciprocal bond with the Wagner family at Bayreuth.

          Richard Strauss may have been no saint, but he continued to work with and help Jews, and eventually fell out with the Nazis.

          All that said, I see the Wagner ban primarily as an emotional issue. Like it or not, we have to respect it.

        • Olassus says:

          Wagner was anti-Semitic. Strauss wasn’t.

          • Gustavo says:

            Strauss, Furtwängler and Karajan played the system.

            Wagner died in 1883.

            Wagner was misused and misinterpreted after his death.

            So was Darwin.

            Would anyone ban Darwin today?

            Or “respect” creationism?

          • Tamino says:

            How was Darwin misused and misinterpreted?

          • Gustavo says:

            Social Darwinism.

          • M2N2K says:

            Yes, creationism is still respected by millions of people, while Darwin is in fact disrespected by quite a few. Those German musicians you named did play the system – in order to survive and sometimes to help others to survive. Wagner’s views on Jews were not “misinterpreted” by Hitler who understood them all too well – au contraire, they actually helped the latter in forming his “philosophy”.

          • Saxon Broken says:

            Wagner’s published views are pretty disgusting. But he was somewhat inconsistent in his behaviour. For instance, Hermann Levi (a German-Jew) conducted the first performance of Parsifal at Bayreuth. Wagner could easily have excluded him if he had wanted.

    • Miguel Cervantes says:

      Daniel Barenboim is anti-Zionist so of course he’s made to feel unwelcome in Israel.

      As for Wagner, Mendi Rodan conducted The Rishon-Lezion Symphony (aka The Israel Symphony) in Wagner’s “Till Eulenspiegel,” and a piece by Richard Strauss in 2000. Rodan was a holocaust survivor himself.

  • Gustavo says:

    Well, with protégé Lahav Shani taking over in Israel, he is probably safe-guarding the remainders of his legacy (while the climate in Europe has turned against him).

  • MacroV says:

    All this farewell to Zubin is understandable and deserved, but surely he’ll be back as a guest conductor? At 83, it would seem he has years of “elder statesman” appearances left.

  • George says:

    So nice to see such a close friendship. Not often among stars like this. I wonder if any of the younger conductors are best friends with each other.

  • Nyko461 says:

    One of most admired conductor .
    God bless you Metha.

  • ian says:

    over rated conductor too auto biagraphical