The renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim has defended his decision to perform music by Wagner, the German composer known for his anti semitic views, at this year’s Proms
The Argentine-Israeli musician will conduct the entire Ring cycle at the Royal Albert Hall this summer, despite acknowledging that “Wagner's antisemitism is abhorrent, beyond anything that is acceptable" .
Speaking to the Radio Times, Mr Barenboim said: “Hitler saw in him - and in his antisemitism - a prophet and it is Wagner's greatest misfortune that he became Hitler's favourite composer. That was not Wagner's fault. And the operas are not antisemitic . They don't deal with the antisemitic questions. If they did, I don't think I would be able to perform them.”
In 2011, a Knesset committe called for a boycott of Mr Barenboim after he conducted a performance of Tristan and Isolde at Jerusalem's international convention centre.
In his interview, Mr Barenboim, a noted critic of Israeli government policy, also discussed Israel's conflict with Palestine.
He said: "I cannot feel at home in Israel now. I ache too much for what is going on there. I find Israel's occupation of Palestinian land abhorrent."