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Last Updated: Friday, 20 February, 2004, 09:35 GMT
Barenboim to leave US orchestra
Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim is also involved with the Berlin Opera
Conductor Daniel Barenboim is to step down from his role as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

He has decided not to renew his contract when it expires in 2006, after more than 15 years in the job, to focus on performing, not administration.

Pianist Barenboim, 61, is also general music director of the Berlin Opera.

He recently set up an orchestra made up of young Arabs and Israeli musicians to highlight the cause that there can be "productive co-existence".

The Israeli also played a concert for Palestinians in the West Bank in 2003, drawing criticism from both Israelis and Palestinians.

But he always said his concert was not about politics, but about using music to bridge the divide between Israelis and Palestinians.


Speaking about his departure, Baranboim said: "After much soul-searching and reflection, I have come to realize that the position and responsibilities of a music director in America are changing in that they require many non-artistic duties, and I feel I have neither the energy nor the time to fulfil them."

He has had a long relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a guest conductor and solo pianist.

He became music director designate in 1989, succeeding the late Sir Georg Solti in 1991.

"We are grateful for the remarkable work that he has accomplished as music director, William H Strong, chairman of the orchestra's trustees.

Mr Strong said a committee would now be formed to find a successor for Barenboim.

'Peace' orchestra makes Arab debut
25 Aug 03  |  Entertainment
Barenboim concert thrills West Bank
03 Aug 03  |  Middle East
Barenboim leads Wagner marathon
19 Mar 02  |  Entertainment

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