Daniel Barenboim is an Argentinean and Israeli conductor and pianist. He is known for his instrumentalist’s talent as well as for his conduction skills. Daniel Barenboim is widely present on the international music scene, playing numerous concerts and recordings, and is also admired for his commitment to peace in the Middle East, with the creation of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
Daniel Barenboim began playing the piano at a very early age, with his parents as teachers. He performed his first concert at the age of 8. After a few years in Israel with his family, he began to travel extensively (Salzburg, Paris, New York, Tel Aviv, Berlin, London...). This allowed him to meet and work with prestigious conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwängler or Leopold Stokowski. Daniel Barenboim began to perform in concert, first as a pianist and then as a conductor. He was appointed musical director of the Paris Orchestra (1975), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1991) and the Milan Scala (2011).
Together with the Palestinian intellectual Edward Saïd, Daniel Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in 1999: this symphony orchestra has the particularity of bringing together musicians from different Middle East countries, and notably symbolises the desire for a dialogue between Jews and Arabs.
Six landmark dates in the life of Daniel Barenboim
1975-1989: Music director of the Paris Orchestra
1988: New production of Wagner's Ring in Bayreuth
1991-2006: Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
1999: Daniel Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
2006: Ernst von Siemens Award
2011: Music director of the Milan Scala
Six key recordings by Daniel Barenboim
1990: Brahms’s Sonatas for cello, with Jacqueline du Pré
1993: Mozart's Piano Concertos, with the English Chamber Orchestra
1997: Beethoven’s Sonatas for piano
2010: Hugo Wolf's Lieder, with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
2011: Bruckner’s ten symphonies, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
2013: Beethoven's nine symphonies with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (BBC Proms 2012) [DVD]