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Daniel Barenboim KBE (Hebrew: דניאל ברנבוים; born 15 November 1942) is an Israeli Argentine pianist and conductor. He has served as music director of several major symphonic and operatic orchestras and made numerous recordings.
- The Declaration of Independence was a source of inspiration to believe in ideals that transformed us from Jews to Israelis. ... I am asking today with deep sorrow: Can we, despite all our achievements, ignore the intolerable gap between what the Declaration of Independence promised and what was fulfilled, the gap between the idea and the realities of Israel? Does the condition of occupation and domination over another people fit the Declaration of Independence? Is there any sense in the independence of one at the expense of the fundamental rights of the other? Can the Jewish people whose history is a record of continued suffering and relentless persecution, allow themselves to be indifferent to the rights and suffering of a neighboring people? Can the State of Israel allow itself an unrealistic dream of an ideological end to the conflict instead of pursuing a pragmatic, humanitarian one based on social justice. I believe that despite all the objective and subjective difficulties, the future of Israel and its position in the family of enlightened nations will depend on our ability to realize the promise of the founding fathers as they canonized it in the Declaration of Independence. I have always believed that there is no military solution to the Jewish Arab conflict, neither from a moral nor a strategic one and since a solution is therefore inevitable I ask myself, why wait?
- Despite the fact that as an art, music cannot compromise its principles, and politics, on the other hand, is the art of compromise, when politics transcends the limits of the present existence and ascents to the higher sphere of the possible, it can be joined there by music. Music is the art of the imaginary par excellence, an art free of all limits imposed by words, an art that touches the depth of human existence, and art of sounds that crosses all borders. As such, music can take the feelings and imagination of Israelis and Palestinians to new unimaginable spheres.
- Music has the capacity to create a greater reality.
- Daniel Barenboim: 'Spaces of dialogue', 04 Aug 2013.
- The thing about Wagner is we’re always wrong about him, because he always embraces opposites … There are things in his operas which viewed one way are naturalistic, and viewed another way are symbolic, but the problem is you can’t represent both views on stage at once.
- Q&A: Daniel Barenboim, 2 November 2012.
- To have real knowledge, one must understand the essence of things and not only their manifestations.
- Proms 2013: Daniel Barenboim interview, 8 May 2013.
- The founding fathers of the State of Israel considered the principle of equality and the pursuit of peace as the bedrock of the society they were building. What happened? ... I still believe that despite all the objective and subjective difficulties, the future of Israel and its position in the family of enlightened nations will depend on our ability to realize the promise of the founding fathers as they canonized it in the Declaration of Independence. Yet, nothing has really changed since 2004. Instead, we now have a law that confirms the Arab population as second-class citizens. It therefore is a very clear form of apartheid. I don’t think the Jewish people survived for 20 centuries, mostly through persecution and enduring endless cruelties, in order to now become the oppressors, inflicting cruelty on others. This new law does exactly that. That is why I am ashamed of being an Israeli today.
- About the Basic Law proposal: Israel as the Nation-State of the Jewish People, Today, I Am Ashamed to Be an Israeli (July 22, 2018), Haaretz.
SPIEGEL Interview with Daniel Barenboim
- SPIEGEL Interview with Daniel Barenboim June 22, 2012
- I'm sure that there are many Israelis who dream of waking up one day to find the Palestinians gone. And there are many Palestinians who dream of going to bed at night and waking up the next morning to find the Israelis gone.
- I have the greatest respect for the survivors of the Holocaust. We can't even imagine what these people went through. And yet even they have differing positions … I respect that there are survivors who can't, and certainly don't want to, listen to this music. But I don't accept that the fact that an orchestra playing Wagner in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem would do any harm to someone sitting in an apartment in Haifa.
- Wagner exploited all forms of expression at a composer's disposal -- harmony, dynamics, orchestration -- to the extreme. His music is highly emotional, and at the same time Wagner has extraordinary control over the effect he achieves. That's why there is also something manipulative about Wagner's music, which is not to say that it's not honest. In fact, I believe that it's totally honest, but it also happens to be manipulative.