Classics in Concert

Carnegie Hall Live: Daniel Barenboim Leads The West-Eastern Divan OrchestraWQXR radio

Performers:

  • West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
  • Daniel Barenboim, music director and conductor
  • Diana Damrau, soprano
  • Kate Lindsey, mezzo-soprano
  • Piotr Beczala, tenor
  • René Pape, bass
  • Westminster Symphonic Choir
  • Joe Miller, Conductor

In 1999, conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and his dear friend, the late Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said, founded an extraordinary ensemble: the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a project that would bring together musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and other countries across the Middle East like Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and Iran.

Their idea was that music would provide a forum for diverse voices to engage with each other in within the nonpolitical platform of music. (Barenboim recently asserted to WQXR that the Divan is "the only space for dialogue in the Middle East now, in any field.") Just as in musical counterpoint, Barenboim and Said believed, the musicians would be able to hear each other simultaneously – not cancelling each other out, but instead enhancing each other.

Since its founding, the orchestra has gone from being a grand experiment to an internationally renowned ensemble. They've played the full cycle of Beethoven cycles from Buenos Aires to China to London and beyond — and this week, they've brought that project to Carnegie Hall. The perfect conclusion? Beethoven's epic Ninth Symphony, paired with the sprightly and trim Second Symphony.

This performance comes days after members of the Divan and Daniel Barenboim gave an intimate performance of Mendelssohn, Bartok, Boulez and a new work by one of the Divan's alumni, clarinetist and composer Kinan Azmeh, in a concert co-presented by NPR Music, WQXR and (Le) Poisson Rouge. Side by side, these performances offer a chance to hear two sides of this very multi-faceted ensemble.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Classical

Ludovico Einaudi, performing live for KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Ludovico Einaudi, 'Petricor' (Live)

KCRW

Watch the pianist and composer, joined by a full band, in a stunning live performance for KCRW.

Opera singer Joyce DiDonato created this video to go with her new album, In War and Peace: Harmony through Music. Warner Classics hide caption

toggle caption Warner Classics

Music

In Chaotic Times, A Singer's Plea For Freedom

Opera star Joyce DiDonato does more than sing — she lends her voice to social causes. Watch her new video, a haunting depiction of a woman trapped in conflict.

Gustavo Dudamel led the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra to open the new season of concerts at Carnegie Hall Thursday, Oct. 6. Chris Lee/Carnegie Hall hide caption

toggle caption Chris Lee/Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall Live

Gustavo Dudamel Opens Carnegie Hall Season With 'The Rite Of Spring'

WQXR radio

The charismatic conductor first heard Stravinsky's rambunctious music when he was just 8. Watch him lead the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela live on Thursday night.

A still from Maya Beiser's "Air" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Maya Beiser, 'Air'

In a new video, the cellist plays with time and memory, turning back the clock to when she first heard J.S. Bach's music on a scratchy old LP. It remains, she says, a timeless lodestar for her art.

Yuja Wang played a demanding program at Carnegie Hall, topped by four encores. Ebru Yildiz/for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ebru Yildiz/for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Hear one of today's most charismatic pianists perform music with deep psychological — and physical — dimensions by Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms.

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

Audio is no longer available

Conductor Mariss Jansons led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall Wednesday in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, "Leningrad." AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Dmitri Shostakovich's powerful Seventh Symphony was written during the devastating World War II siege of Leningrad. Hear Mariss Jansons lead the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474662768/475125195" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Michael Mizrahi channels the harpsichord in new music by Troy Herion. Eno Swinnen/Courtesy of the Artist hide caption

toggle caption Eno Swinnen/Courtesy of the Artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Michael Mizrahi, 'Harpsichords'

In this animated video, pianist Michael Mizrahi channels the old Baroque harpsichord in new music written for him by Troy Herion.

Music director Iván Fischer leading an Budapest Festival Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall in New York Thursday. A.J. Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption A.J. Wilhelm for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

Budapest Festival Orchestra Plays Carnegie Hall

Music director Iván Fischer conducts a Liszt piano concerto with Marc-André Hamelin as soloist, and a powerful wartime symphony by Prokofiev.

Budapest Festival Orchestra Plays Carnegie Hall

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/466299701/467669984" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top