Hommage Daniel Barenboim: Rolando Villazón, Plácido Domingo, Sonya Yoncheva, Lang Lang, Cecilia Bartoli, Martha Argerich, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim © SF/Marco Borrelli
(SF, 20 December 2023) On the occasion of Daniel Barenboim’s 80th birthday, Cecilia Bartoli and the Salzburg Whitsun Festival presented a benefit gala for the Daniel Barenboim Foundation. On 29 May 2023, Cecilia Bartoli, Sonya Yoncheva, Rolando Villazón, Plácido Domingo, Martha Argerich and Lang Lang performed at the Großes Festspielhaus for and together with Daniel Barenboim. The long-standing friends Daniel Barenboim and Zubin Mehta conducted the gala concert, which was performed by the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

The benefit gala netted revenues exceeding 186,000 Euros. Cecilia Bartoli and the Salzburg Festival are delighted to support the Daniel Barenboim Foundation with this impressive sum.

“I am delighted about the considerable amount of funds that were raised at the benefit concert for my friend Daniel Barenboim’s foundation. We organised this concert to celebrate his 80th birthday, and many of his musical companions accepted my invitation. On this evening, the audience was able to experience what Daniel Barenboim means to us as an artist and as a human being. My thanks go to all the performers, who waived their fees in favour of the Daniel Barenboim Foundation, and also to the audience, who welcomed us with great warmth and enthusiasm. The importance of this initiative – especially the Barenboim-Said Academy and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra – has once again become clear in recent weeks. Daniel Barenboim’s vision was to bring together musicians from Israel and the Palestinian territories, but also from other countries in the Middle East, in the Academy and his orchestra, where they would spend time together and learn to respond to each other, listening to one another and creating a communal voice through differentiated music-making,” says Cecilia Bartoli, Artistic Director of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival.

The Daniel Barenboim Foundation is the organization under whose auspices the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the Barenboim-Said Academy with the Pierre Boulez Saal, opened in 2016, operate. The members of the orchestra are mainly from Israel, Palestine and other Arab countries, such as Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

The terrible events of the past weeks in Israel and Gaza underline the importance of this unique initiative.

The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra celebrates its 25th anniversary next year and will perform at the Salzburg Festival with its founder Daniel Barenboim and Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist on 15 August 2024.