Daniel Barenboim, a supporter of Palestinian rights, broke new ground on Tuesday when he traveled to the Gaza Strip to conduct a concert.
Musicians from some of Europe’s top orchestras entered the coastal enclave from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing amid tight security, to form the “Orchestra for Gaza” and play Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” and the Symphony No. 40.
Barenboim’s appearance with the orchestra, players of the Staatskapelle Berlin, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and La Scala of Milan, was a first in recent memory in Gaza where traditional Arabic music is more common.
An audience of some 700 attended the hour-long concert at the plush al-Madha center along the beachfront in the northern Gaza Strip.
The event was organised by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that cares for Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
When introducing the event, Barenboim said the concert was taking place because “these are people who care about you, this is why we are here today.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.