Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in November 2022, was born in Buenos Aires. His parents, who were both piano teachers, began training him on the keyboard at an early age, and he gave his first public performance at the age of seven. In 1952, the family moved from Argentina to Israel; Barenboim won a scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in 1953 through the American-Israel Cultural Foundation Competition. He also took conducting courses with Igor Markevitch and in 1954 was introduced to Wilhelm Furtwängler, who pronounced him a “phenomenon.” Barenboim spent the first phase of his career as an internationally successful concert pianist. Since his debut as a conductor with the Philharmonia Orchestra (1967), he has also been in demand in this capacity with the finest orchestras. Barenboim’s first permanent post was as conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, from 1975 to 1989; from 1991 to 2006, he helmed the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which subsequently named him Honorary Conductor. He made his opera debut in 1973 with Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Edinburgh Festival; in 1981, he conducted for the first time in Bayreuth, where he returned every summer until 1999. Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Berlin Staatsoper since 1992, and in 2000 the Staatskapelle Berlin elected him Chief Conductor for Life. He was closely associated with La Scala in Milan from 2007 to 2014, most recently as Music Director. In 1999, Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together young musicians mostly from Israel and the Arab countries. He opened the Pierre Boulez Hall in Berlin in 2017, where he performs works from the classical period to the present with his newly founded Boulez Ensemble. For his artistic and cultural-political work, Barenboim has been awarded the Prince of Asturias Award, the Buber-Rosenzweig Medal, the Siemens Music Prize, the Goethe Medal, and the Japanese Praemium Imperiale, among others.

Lucerne Festival (IMF) debut on 25 August 1966, performing piano concertos by Mozart and Beethoven with the English Chamber Orchestra.

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July 2022