Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Ramallah Concert

I just watched the DVD of the documentary about Ramallah Concert (2005) by the West-East Divan Orchestra and Daniel Barenboim. This DVD describes about the long and difficult process of making a concert in Ramallah by the orchestra, which consists of musicians form Israel and form Arabic countries lead by Daniel Barenboim. Before watching this DVD, I didn’t know anything about this orchestra and his project. I was very touched by this documentary and impressed by the people who joined this project because it must have required a great deal of courage to join this orchestra. With all devastating situations going on in the world, this documentary gave the hope that impossible can become possible and I was glad to know that the music can be part of this process.
By the way, I’m following the news of the march of the monks in Burma.
I really hope that the democracy will be back in Burma!!!

1 comment:

Lea said...

It’s a good idea to come up with the West-Eastern Divan. The idea of bringing together the young generation of Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East in an orchestra is courageous. In this case, classical music is a great instrument to demonstrate that there is a common ground between “political enemies”. In terms of our seminar’s topic, this is an excellent example of using classical music not to satisfy a bored concert audience, but to enhance cultural exchange. I think a debate about hi- or lowbrow is totally unnecessary in this case. Of course the orchestra plays on a very high standard, since Barenboim is one of the most prestigious conductors – but his main intention is rather a political idea than prestige. I know several students who participate in Barenboim’s project, some of them are Palestinians and Egyptians. To hear about their experiences was is very interesting. One of them started playing the oboe with the help of the Barenboim-Said music school in Seville, Spain. This music school was also founded by Barenboim and his friend Said and is based in Palestine, giving free music lessons to young children. This idealistic attempt seems to be a drop in bucket, but it has become quite popular in the last years. I hope that there will a possibility for another concert in the Middle East soon!