Daniel Barenboim conducts 'peace concert' in Gaza

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Landmark performance in Palestinian territory

Conductor Daniel Barenboim has led a specially formed orchestra in a concert in Gaza in order to promote peace.

The performance by the Orchestra for Gaza was the first in the Palestinian territory by an international ensemble.

Made up of members of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Orchestre de Paris, the Orchestra of La Scala, Milan and the Berlin Staatskapelle, all of the group's musicians volunteered to play in the free concert at the Al-Mathaf Cultural House on Tuesday.

The programme included Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nacht Music and Symphony No. 40.

The concert was part of Barenboim's ongoing efforts as a UN Messenger of Peace to promote good relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

In 1999 Barenboim formed the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra comprising both Arab and Israeli musicians and in 2008 accepted honorary Palestinian citizenship, becoming the first Israeli to have citizenship of both countries.

Barenboim told the audience that the concert was  'a unique gesture from the whole of Europe for you, Gaza' adding that he hoped the concert not only gave them 'solace and pleasure' but also showed them that 'many people from all over the world care.'

Annie Reece