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Barenboim and Divan Orchestra’s “Beethoven for All” summer tour

Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra – the much-lauded ensemble of young Arab and Israeli musicians that Barenboim co-founded in 1999 with the late Palestinian-born literary scholar Edward Said – embark on an eight-city European tour this summer as part of their multi-year Beethoven for All project, which seeks to take the composer’s message of common humanity to audiences around the world. Highlights of the tour include a concert at Castel Gandolfo at the invitation of Pope Benedict XVI (July 11), a performance in the palace gardens at Versailles (July 13), concerts at Berlin’s Waldbühne (July 29) and the Salzburg Festival (August 2 & 3), and an eight-day residency from July 20 to 27 at the BBC Proms as part of the London 2012 Festival, the cultural celebrations of the Olympic Games.
To coincide with the tour, Daniel Barenboim and Decca are presenting an ambitious multi-album Beethoven for All recording project, which includes complete cycles of the composer’s symphonies with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the piano concertos with the Staatskapelle Berlin, and the piano sonatas (watch a trailer here). When Decca’s Beethoven for All two-disc highlight set and five-disc symphony set were released in the U.S. two weeks ago, they debuted at number one and number three respectively on Billboard’s traditional classical chart. Individual recordings of each of the nine symphonies have also been mastered especially for iTunes, and are now available.
Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra’s summer tour kicks off on July 7 with an all-Boulez chamber concert at Berlin’s Schiller Theater. On July 10, they make their Munich debut in the Bavarian capital’s Philharmonie. At the personal invitation of Pope Benedict XVI, the Divan will play for the pontiff at Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father’s summer residence in Lazio, Italy (July 11). The tour continues in Versailles (July 13), Geneva (Victoria Hall, July 15), and in Seville (Teatro de la Maestranza, July 18).  
A major highlight of the 2012 Beethoven for All tour will be an eight-day residency at the BBC Proms from July 20 to 27. In addition to the nine Beethoven symphonies, the concerts will also feature works by French composer Pierre Boulez, one of the most influential figures in contemporary music for the past 60 years and a close friend of Barenboim. The first non-BBC orchestra to be in residence at this beloved British summer festival, the Divan will give its final Proms concert on July 27, when Barenboim leads it in a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – a fitting work, with its “Ode to Joy” celebration of shared humanity, to be played on the opening day of London’s 2012 Olympic Games. The concert promises to bring new vitality and meaning to the kindred missions of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the Olympic Games. The performance starts at 6:30pm BST, with the opening ceremony beginning at 9:00pm BST. The concert will be broadcast live on the web and on BBC Radio 3 with a recorded television broadcast on BBC Two the next day (July 28).
After the Proms residency, Barenboim and the Divan return to Berlin for a July 29 concert at the Waldbühne that will include the Third (“Eroica”) and Fifth Symphonies. The summer tour comes to a close with an evening at Salzburg’s Festspielhaus (August 2) and a program of chamber music by Martinu, Janácek, and Dvorák in the Austrian city’s Mozarteum (August 3). 
Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan reunite to continue their Beethoven for All project in January and February 2013, when they return to the United States for the first time since their Carnegie Hall debut in 2006. Over four performances at Carnegie Hall on January 30 and 31 and February 2 and 3, they will present a complete cycle of Beethoven’s symphonies. 
Launched in 2010 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Beethoven for All tour will have spanned four continents by 2013. “Beethoven’s music is universal,” says Barenboim. “Everywhere in the world – it speaks to all people.”
About Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim is one of the most compelling figures in the music world today. As well as being renowned as a conductor and pianist, he is a noted author, lecturer, and public intellectual whose work aims to foster an appreciation for music’s vital humanity in an increasingly interdependent world. Serving as Music Director of the Staatsoper Berlin, Staatskapelle Berlin, and the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the maestro is also in great demand with leading orchestras and opera houses around the world. In 1999, he and the late Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said co-founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together musicians from Israel, Palestine, and other Arab countries to perform music and promote reflection and mutual understanding. Barenboim’s prodigious career as a symphonic and operatic conductor and a solo and collaborative pianist has included more than 90 recordings, eight Grammy Awards, music directorships with the Orchestre de Paris and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as frequent performances at the Bayreuth Festival. Born in Buenos Aires in 1942, Barenboim moved to Israel at the age of ten and presently holds citizenship in Argentina, Israel, Palestine, and Spain.
About the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
Founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said in 1999, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra brings together musicians from Israel, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt – joined by a number of musicians from Iran, Turkey and Spain – to perform music and promote reflection and mutual understanding. They meet each summer in Seville, Spain for a workshop, where rehearsals are complemented by lectures and discussion and followed by an international concert tour. The orchestra was founded at the invitation of the Kunstfest Weimar, and it derives its name from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s collection of poems entitled “West-Eastern Divan,” a central work in the evolution of the concept of world culture.
New releases
Beethoven for All
Music of Power, Passion and Beauty
02894783513 – 2 CD
02894783514 – Digital
00028947843702 – MFIT
US release: June 19, 2012
Available on Amazon and iTunes
Beethoven for All
Symphonies 1-9
028947835110 – 5 CD
00028947846420 – MFIT
US release: June 19, 2012
Available on Amazon and iTunes
Upcoming appearances
July 7
Berlin, Germany
Schiller Theater
July 10
Munich, Germany
Philharmonie am Gasteig
July 11 (private concert)
Lazio, Italy
Castel Gandolfo
July 13
Versailles, France
Parque de Chateaux de Versailles
July 15
Geneva, Switzerland
Victoria Hall

July 18
Seville, Spain
Teatro de la Maestranza
July 20, 21, 23, 24, 26, 27
London, UK
Royal Albert Hall
BBC Proms, part of London 2012 Festival
July 29
Berlin, Germany
August 2
Salzburg, Austria
August 3
Salzburg, Austria
January 30, 31; February 2, 3, 2013
New York, NY, USA
Carnegie Hall


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