The BBC Proms, a highlight of the summer music season, today announced that the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, led by its co-founder Daniel Barenboim, will return to London’s Royal Albert Hall on 18 August, 2015.
The orchestra will present a program that includes Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony, op. 9, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, with violinist Guy Braunstein, cellist Kian Soltani, and pianist Daniel Barenboim.
The Divan’s London concert will be the finale of their 2015 summer tour, which begins with a return to Buenos Aires, where the orchestra will be in residence and will give a variety of concerts from 24 July to 8 August, 2015. From Argentina, the West-Eastern Divan then travel to Europe, where they appear at the Salzburg Festival (12, 13 & 14 August), Waldbühne Berlin (15 August), Lucerne Festival (16 & 17 August), and finally to the BBC Proms on 18 August.
In 1999, Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said founded the West-Eastern Divan as a workshop for Israeli, Palestinian and other Arab musicians. Meeting in Weimar, Germany – a place where the humanistic ideals of the Enlightenment are overshadowed by the Holocaust – they materialized a hope to replace ignorance with education, knowledge and understanding; to humanize the other; to imagine a better future. Within the workshop, individuals who had only interacted with each other through the prism of war found themselves living and working together as equals.
As they listened to each other during rehearsals and discussions, they traversed deep political and ideological divides. Though this experiment in coexistence was intended as a one-time event, it quickly evolved into a legendary orchestra.