Daniel Barenboim has been given a KBE – the highest accolade that can be given to a foreign citizen – in recognition of his work towards peace in the Middle East. The award was presented by the British ambassador to Berlin at a gala dinner in the city.
In May this year Barenboim conducted a ‘peace concert’ in Gaza and he formed the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Arab and Israeli musicians, in 1999. The ensemble performed in the West Bank city of Ramallah in 2005.
‘Daniel Barenboim is a staunch advocate of the unifying power of music’ said British ambassador Simon McDonald. ‘He certainly has become an inspirational figure, not least for the next generation of musicians.’
Barenboim said that that he was ‘deeply touched’ by the honour.
This summer the conductor will be touring Europe and Asia with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and appearing in cities including Lucerne, Berlin, Beijing and Seoul.