The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra will be performing at Royal Albert Hall, London, at the Proms on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd August, 2009
By Elena Cheah
Preface by Daniel Barenboim
The untold story of the West-Eastern Divan, an orchestra reaching across the Israeli–Arab divide
Bringing together young musicians from Palestine, Israel and other countries of the Middle East, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is both one of the most acclaimed youth orchestras in the world and a powerful ray of hope in a war-torn region.
Founded by Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said in 1999, it aims to promote Arab-Israeli understanding through music. In An Orchestra Beyond Borders, Elena Cheah, a professional musician and assistant to Daniel Barenboim, explores the orchestra’s journey through the remarkable stories of its members. Through the prism of the orchestra, these youthful testimonies are a window into the life of the region. Together, they express the musicians’ ambitions and hopes, their varied and conflicting views on life and politics, and above all the orchestra’s transformative ability to create an atmosphere of musical cooperation across political lines.
- The book is now available to buy in the UK at all good bookshops and online.
- Listen to the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra perform in celebration of their tenth anniversary at the Proms live on BBC Radio 3.
Also listen out for:
- Ghada Karmi’s reading from ‘In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story’ during the interval of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra’s performance on Friday 21 August, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3
- Elena Cheah and Mariam Said’s interview on BBC World News Today
- Elena on The Strand, BBC World Service
- Elena and Mariam’s interview on Woman’s Hour
- Elena on The Real Deal with George Galloway, Press TV
- Elena on The Sunday Programme BBC R4 with Roger Bolton