Nobel Peace Prize hopes for Daniel Barenboim

By Jennifer Lipman, August 12, 2011
Barenboim conducting in the Gaza Strip

Barenboim conducting in the Gaza Strip

Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim is set to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr Barenboim and Palestinian intellectual Edward Said created the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra 12 years ago. The interfaith effort, which brought together Israeli, Palestinian and Arab musicians, won praise around the world.

It is expected to be announced next week that he has been nominated for the prize in recognition of his efforts to encourage peace and bring together people in the Middle East through music.

At the age of 68 he is a celebrated figure, however he is also controversial and has been an outspoken critic of the Israeli government.

He holds honorary Palestinian citizenship and recently led a performance in Gaza. He has also been criticised by Holocaust survivors groups for performing music by antisemitic conductor Richard Wagner in Israeli venues.

Born in Argentina, his family moved to Israel when he was nine.

He became the musical director of the Berlin State Opera in 1992.

The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on October 7. If he wins, he will join Israeli recipients Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin.

Last updated: 1:21pm, August 12 2011