Daniel Barenboim
Photo: Monika Rittershaus (EMI Classics)

Israeli conductor's Egypt visit causes stir

Despite criticism from intellectual circles and accusations of 'sneaky normalization with Israel', conductor Daniel Barenboim to hold first concert in Egypt next week

Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim will hold a concert in Egypt on April 16, two months after a first appearance was cancelled due to the Gaza conflict, angering those who oppose normalization with Israel.


The Argentinian-born conductor was due to give a concert in January, but it was cancelled due to Israel's deadly 22-day military onslaught of Gaza that ended on January 18.


The concert, Barenboim's first in Egypt, has ruffled feathers in intellectual circles, with music critic Amgad Mustafa describing the visit as "sneaky normalization" with Israel.


But Egypt's culture minister was quick to defend Barenboim's visit.


"This conductor has attacked Israeli policies and there has even been a request to have him stripped of his citizenship," Faruq Hosni told AFP.


The minister has himself said he opposed cultural normalization with the Jewish State despite a 1979 peace deal between Egypt and Israel.


Barenboim, 66, has been vocal in his opposition to Israeli policies in Gaza and Israel's occupation of the West Bank.


In 1999, he founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with late Palestinian intellectual Edward Said who died in 2003.


In 2008, Barenboim was given honorary Palestinian citizenship.


פרסום ראשון: 04.14.09, 11:15
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