From the Salzburg Festival 2007: The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, plays Beethoven’s Overture Leonore No. 3 and Schoenberg’s Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31. The idea of uniting young musicians from Israel, Palestine and various Arab countries into a musical ensemble still seems incredible today.
Yet such an orchestra has been flourishing since 1999, when Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. The project, says Barenboim, brings together these young people "not so that they forget or hide their differences, but so that they can understand them." He adds that "making music together gives us the best opportunity to learn to live with one another."