The Korea Herald


Barenboim to lead peace concert at Imjingak

By 김윤미

Published : July 3, 2011 - 18:26

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Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim will lead his youth orchestra, consisting of artists from the Middle East including Israelis and Palestinians, to perform at Imjingak near the demilitarized zone to promote peace on the Korean peninsula.

The concert will be held on Aug. 15, Liberation Day in Korea, the organizer said.

Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which the conductor formed in 1999 for a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, will perform Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor Op. 125 “Choral,” with Korean singers including soprano Jo Su-mi and three choirs, at the Imjingak Pyeonghwa-Nuri Park’s outdoor concert venue in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, at 7 p.m.
Conductor Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. (Credia) Conductor Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. (Credia)

Beethoven takes a special place in Barenboim’s musical career. As a pianist, Barenboim recorded the complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano sonatas and rose to international stardom in the 1950s. At the upcoming concert, he will deliver Beethoven’s hopes and jubilation in Symphony No. 9, the final symphony that the composer created while losing his hearing.

The final choral finale of the fourth movement will deliver a message of unity and harmony, just as Beethoven had written ― “all men become brothers,” said Credia, the organizer of the event.

The 68-year-old and the WEDO in May held a peace concert in Gaza. Barenboim received honorary Palestinian citizenship in 2008 and the WEDO performed in the West Bank city of Ramallah in 2005.

Prior to the peace concert on Aug. 15, Barenboim and the WEDO will hold a rare concert series at the Seoul Arts Center, covering all Beethoven Symphonies from No.1 to No. 9, from Aug. 10 to Aug. 14, except for Saturday.

On Aug. 14, the program will be No. 2 and No. 9, joined by soprano Jo Su-mi, mezzo-soprano Lee Ah-kyung, tenor Park Ji-min, bass Hamm Suk-hun and the Korean National Choir.

Tickets for the Aug. 15 peace concert are priced at 35,000 won and the tickets will go on sale starting at 2 p.m. on July 7. Call 1577-5266 or 1544-1555.

By Kim Yoon-mi (