Daniel Barenboim to conduct Beethoven Symphonies at Proms 2012

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First Beethoven cycle in over 60 years at the Proms

Daniel Barenboim (left) will conduct the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in a complete Beethoven Symphonies cycle at next year’s BBC Proms, to mark the beginning of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The series of concerts will conclude with a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on 27 July, the night the Games begin.

Announcing the news, BBC Proms controller Roger Wright said it would be the first time the entire symphony series has been performed at the Proms in over 60 years. Quoted in The Independent, Wright said: ‘We want to recognise that London will be a special place at that time’.

Barenboim will conduct the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which he founded in 1999 with Palestinian-American academic Edward Said. The orchestra consists of musicians from Israel, the Palestinian territories and other Middle Eastern countries and seeks to create understanding between musicians.

Based in Seville, Spain, the orchestra recently completed a world tour, culminating in a recorded performance of a Beethoven Symphony cycle in Cologne. The recording is expected to be released in spring 2012 on Decca.

Nathan Comer