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August 2, 2011

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Barenboim is big on Beethoven

A Beethoven concert will be staged at Shanghai Oriental Art Center next Monday.

The performance, named "Beethoven in the Summer Air," will be presented by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim as conductor. They will play Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C Major, No. 8 in F Major and No. 5 in C Minor.

The three pieces present different sides of life. Symphony No. 1 is humorous, No. 5 tells of the joy people feel as they confront their fate and No. 8 pictures a bright and vigorous scene.

Israeli native Barenboim is considered one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. He has thrilled audiences around the world as a pianist, conductor and chamber musician.

"Barenboim has great power when he conducts," says pianist Lang Lang, who once studied with Barenboim and performed a piano duet with him in Beijing. "I always feel fortunate to play piano in front of the great pianist."

Barenboim began playing the piano at age five. He has since gone on to cooperate with various orchestras including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

However, his name is now more often connected with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra since he co-founded it in 1999 with literature theorist Edward Said, a Palestinian. The orchestra is composed of Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs, and aims to promote regional peace and improve cultural exchanges.

As for his insistence in promoting cooperation between these musicians, he says: "I am not a politician with solutions."

"All I can do is play music. I play music for the Palestinian kids, and they play music for me, too. The only goal for me is to help people listen before it is too late," he says.

Date: August 8, 7:30pm

Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong

Tickets: 88-888 yuan


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