Monday 6 November 2023

A timely reminder of an alternative way: the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble at the Southbank Centre

Michael Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble
Michael Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was founded by the Palestinian author-scholar Edward W. Said and Israeli conductor-pianist Daniel Barenboim as a result of discussions on music, culture, and humanity and the realisation the urgent need for an alternative way to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, aiming to bring young Israeli and Arabic musicians together in shared endeavour. Sadly, the orchestra's ethos seems to be even more needed than ever. 

To celebrate the orchestra's 20th anniversary, violinist Michael Barenboim (son of Daniel and the orchestra's concertmaster) founded the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble which draws on players from the orchestra, and the group made its first tour in 2020.

On Saturday 11 November 2023, the West-Eastern Divan Ensemble appears at the Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall in a programme that mixes old and new. Alongside joyful charm of Mendelssohn's String Quintet No. 2 in B flat, Op. 87 and Beethoven's early Septet in E Flat, Op. 20 (where the instrumental line-up will include horn player Ben Goldscheider), the ensemble will also be playing a pair of grittier works by Elliott Carter (1908-2012), his  Au Quai for bassoon and viola (from 2002) and Duettone from Tre Duetti for violin and cello (2009), both works from the composer's late, late period.

Full details from the Southbank Centre's website.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts this month