What better choice of programme for the start of the Olympic Truce than Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony? The Choral Symphony is a setting of Schiller’s poem of universal fellowship
Ausgesöhnt die ganze Welt! Reconcile the entire world!
and will be performed by the intentionally intercultural West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, founded by the late Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim in 1999 to bring young Arab and Israeli musicians together.
Great music is the result of deep listening.
Every player listening intently to the voice of the composer and to each other. Harmony in personal or international relations can also only exist by listening. Each party opening their ears to the other’s narrative or point of view.
In 1999, Edward Said and myself formed the West-Eastern Divan orchestra, composed of musicians from Israel, Palestine, and other Arab countries. Countries where the open ear has been too often replaced by the unsheathed sword, to the detriment of all.
Now, over 10 years later, we have hopefully achieved an orchestra that is worthy of your ear. And one which shows that people who listen to each other, both musically and in all other ways, can achieve greater things.
Promenading (usually just standing) tickets are available on the door of the Royal Albert Hall for £5 for this extraordinary performance on Friday 27th July at 6.30pm.