The alumni magazine of Brown University, my alma mater, begins its article on a unique orchestra like this:
“We are an orchestra against ignorance.” That’s how Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim describes the West-Eastern Divan, which consists of young musicians hailing from Israel and its Arab neighbors.
Picture a teenage violinist from Israel; his name is Ilya. Picture a teenage violinist from Lebanon; his name is Claude. They know nothing of one another’s lives. Or, actually, they think they do know about each other’s lives, because each has been raised on negative stereotypes about the other. [Read more…]