Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Plaza de Toros ( Bullring) Ronda - Classical Concert conducted by Daniel Barenboim with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

On July the 30th, a Saturday there is a concert by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in the beautiful location of the Plaza de Toros here in Ronda. Conducted by the celebrated Daniel Barenboim, they will be playing two symphonies by Ludwig von Beethoven.

I've always been impressed with the idea behind this orchestra since I first heard about it around the beginning of 2000. In 1999 Daniel Barenboim of Argentine-Israeli descent and Edward Said, a Palestinian-American academic, founded the Orchestra with the idea to provide a platform for the two conflicting nations to come together. Ironically their first workshops were held in the German town of Weimar which gave its name to the ill-fated Weimar Republic that preceded Nazi Germany. Barenboim himself describes the project in these terms: "The Divan was conceived as a project against ignorance. A project against the fact that it is absolutely essential for people to get to know the other, to understand what the other thinks and feels, without necessarily agreeing with it."

Since 2002 the Junta de Andalucia together with a private foundation has provided a base for the Orchestra in the nearby capital of Seville. In 2004 the Barenboim-Said foundation was formed with funding from the Junta de Andalucia to promote education through music projects with the aim of promoting dialogue and coexistence. After a summer of workshops the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra starts its tour and luckily they are coming to Ronda to play in the oldest bullring in Spain. It should be a magical location for such an event and if I can I'll be getting tickets. If you want to book you can at or if you are near Ronda you can buy tickets in advance at the ticket office in the Bull Ring.

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