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Barenboim spends his days balancing music and illness

milan – No one was more surprised than Daniel Barenboim himself when he impromptu returned to La Scala in Milan as a last-minute sub just two weeks after officially stepping down as music director of the Berlin State Opera after 30 years. I didn’t.

After Daniel Harding canceled for family reasons, the 80-year-old conductor and pianist received an unexpected invitation to conduct three Mozart concerts on Sunday at 7:15 am. By Wednesday, Barenboim, who had left his post in Berlin for health reasons, was rehearsing at La Scala.

“It’s as if I’ve been away for a week. It’s been really moving,” Barenboim told The Associated Press, saying he felt more familiar with the “sound” than the face.

There is no doubt that his health remains a primary concern after being diagnosed with what he only described as a “serious neurological condition.” . But those who have seen him at rehearsals say his energy is evident the moment he picks up the baton.

Despite his illness, Barenboim is determined to live on the conductor’s rostrum whenever possible — even if that means sitting down, which he does for his New Year’s concert in Berlin. “We take it every day,” he said.

“I know it’s expected to say that this disease has changed my life. No,” he insisted. , and hope Thursday and Saturday. And then let’s see.

The piano is another matter. He only performed twice in public last year, he said.

What is clear is that in his 70-year career, which has traveled the world, conducting orchestras from Berlin to Milan, Chicago to Paris, Barenboim never considered slowing his frenetic pace. It means that That is until his health problems compel him.

“You know, I never felt my age. I never thought I was 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70. said Barenboim. .”

He said it saddened him to give up the Berlin State Opera. “But I needed it. It’s a full-time job. And I can’t do this anymore. I don’t want to do it anymore.”

In keeping with the relationship, Barenboim will conduct two concerts later this month with the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Berlin State Opera Orchestra, and much more. “I don’t need hope. I’ll do it,” he said.

Barenboim first performed in his native Argentina at the age of seven.

His extraordinary biography goes from his Jewish grandparents fleeing Russian pogroms in the early 1900s to moving with him to the newly created Jewish state of Israel when he was ten years old. It traces a wide swath of 20th-century geopolitical history to its decisions. He said he wanted to live “as a member of the majority, not the minority.”

He first became aware of Jewish persecution on his way to Israel. His parents took the young Barenboim to Salzburg for a masterclass, but did not allow him to accept an invitation to perform in Germany because the memory of the Nazi Holocaust was too close. He still struggles to understand why Hitler’s birthplace Austria, annexed by Nazi Germany, was yes and Germany was no.

Fast forward a few decades and Berlin was his home for 30 years, and his work, which revived the Berlin State Opera in what was once East Berlin, resumed cultural life in post-reunified Germany. Widely recognized.

Even against such a historic sweep, Barenboim is haunted by the world around him: Putin’s war in Ukraine, which he struggles to comprehend. situation in Israel. He also sees the Western decision to quarantine Russian musicians as unjustified. “Not all Russians are anti-Ukrainian,” he said.

“Let’s be honest, we are not living in a very spiritual age today. A person who is very happy to have visited space. However, it turned out to be very factual. Very material.

He believes that people can find salvation in music, but even many musicians are in no rush to take the time to figure it out.

“People don’t know how to listen to music. They don’t need to know the details of the complex, technical composition. But when they do, they need to be focused. They can’t look at their phone or do anything else.” You can’t,” said Barenboim.

Barenboim continues his work with the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, which he started with writer Edward Said, and will conduct in Salzburg and Lucerne this summer, and the Barenboim Said Academy of Music in Berlin will open in 2017. was launched in the year.

Both bring together musicians from historically enemy countries to foster dialogue.

He finds their level of cooperation exemplary and is particularly impressed with the Academy students. Palestinian student on clarinet, first violin by Israeli student from Ethiopia, second violin by Syrian, viola by Iranian and cellist by Israeli.

“It’s been heartwarming to see how this quintet understands each other and what each one does and contributes,” he said, pausing to think.

Barenboim’s third appearance in Milan on Saturday, featuring three Mozart symphonies, will be streamed live on La Scala TV, La Scala’s new streaming service.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/entertainment/2023/02/15/barenboim-takes-it-day-by-day-balancing-music-with-illness/ Barenboim spends his days balancing music and illness

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