SOAS University of London

Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (DMus) from SOAS in 2008. Known as a musical "bridge builder", he is recognised both for his virtuosity as a musician and for his work toward peace in the Middle East. Uniquely, he holds both Israeli and Palestinian citizenship.

Mr Barenboim is acclaimed as one of the greatest pianists of his generation and has performed and recorded with many of the world's great orchestras and conductors, chamber musicians and recitalists. As a conductor, his musical partnerships have included the English Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Bayreuth Festival Orchestra. He is currently Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and appears regularly with the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras and at the Scala in Milan where he was named Maestro Scaligero.

In 1999 he founded, together with Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to promote peace and tolerance through the shared language of music. A ground-breaking orchestra, made up of equal numbers of Israeli and Arab musicians, it is part of the Barenboim-Said Foundation, which promotes musical training in Ramallah, Nazareth and beyond and plays to packed concert halls across the world.

Daniel Barenboim is the recipient of many international awards, including the German Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz, the Israeli Wolf Prize for the Arts, the French Legion of Honour and the Japanese Praemium Imperiale. In 2006
he delivered the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures at Harvard University and the BBC Reith Lectures and in 2007 he was named an Ambassador for Peace by the United Nations.