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Saturday, 24 August, 2002, 20:01 GMT 21:01 UK
Arab-Israeli concert to promote peace
Daniel Barenboim
Barenboim: "No military solution in the Middle East"
Daniel Barenboim, the Israeli pianist and conductor, is to lead an orchestra of Israeli and Arab musicians in Berlin next week.


As musicians and creators of culture, we must not wait for politicians, we must be active

Daniel Barenboim
The concert has been organised to promote peace in the troubled Middle East, organisers at the Staatsoper opera house, where it is to be held, told the French news agency AFP.

Barenboim was born in Argentina to parents of Jewish-Russian descent, but the family moved to Israel when he was 10 years old and he is an Israeli citizen.

In March, he arranged to play a concert for peace in the West Bank town of Ramallah, but it was cancelled due to security fears.

'No military solution'

Beethoven's fifth symphony will be one of the works to feature in the 1 September concert, which will kick off the season at the Staatsoper.

Israeli tanks in Ramallah in 2002
Israel's West Bank offensive forced cancellation of concert
The mixed Arab-Israeli orchestra was founded in 1999, with the proviso that all members must agree that war will not provide a solution to the Middle East conflict.

"As musicians and creators of culture, we must not wait for politicians, we must be active," Barenboim was reported to have said.

"For the Middle East conflict there is no military solution, neither moral nor strategic, neither for the Palestinians nor for the Israelis," he added.

Testing taboos

The famed conductor has not been afraid of controversy in the past.

In July last year, his decision to include an unscheduled Wagner opera piece in a Jerusalem concert broke one of Israel's deepest held taboos and drew both walkouts and applause.

Wagner was Adolf Hitler's favourite composer and his works provided anti-Semitic inspiration to the Nazis.

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