• Childhood



    Baby picture, 1943
    With Igor Markevich in his conducting class, Salzburg, 1954
    Conducting class with Igor Markevich, 1954
    With his parents in Salzburg, 1955
    With Leopold Stokowski in rehearsal, Carnegie Hall, 1957
    Playing Bartok with Berlin Philharmonic, 1964
    Rehearsing, on tour with the English Chamber Orchestra, in the late 1960s

    Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Jewish Russian immigrant parents


    Starts piano lessons with his mother and continues to study with his father, who remains his only other teacher


    Buenos Aires: Piano debut; Vienna: Plays in and observes Igor Markevich’s conducting class; Family settles in Israel


    Salzburg: becomes youngest member of Igor Markevich’s conducting master classes; Meets and plays for Wilhelm Furtwängler, who invites DB to attend his rehearsals of Don Giovanni and to perform with him and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Furtwängler’s statement “the eleven-year-old Barenboim is a phenomenon …” helped the young pianist to quickly establish himself.


    Paris: Studies with Nadia Boulanger; Makes Paris debut (with André Cluytens/ Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire/Mozart K271); Plays for Arthur Rubinstein; Meets Leopold Stokowski, who invites him to perform with him



    New York: Piano debut with Stokowski and Symphony of the Air (Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 1) at Carnegie Hall; also performs with members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Dimitri Mitropoulos


    Tel Aviv: Performs complete cycle of Beethoven piano sonatas


    Tel Aviv: Conducting debut with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Manchester (UK); Performs as pianist with Hallé Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli. “As far as orchestral playing is concerned, I learned most of what I know from Barbirolli”


    Berlin: Piano debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (Boulez/Bartók Piano Concerto No. 1 & Mehta/Furtwängler Piano Concerto); UK: Plays and conducts English Chamber Orchestra for the first time. Later performs with and conducts them in Europe, the United States (’68), Australia, and India/Japan (’73)

  • Beginnings



    With Jacqueline Du Pré at their wedding, 1967
    With Zubin Mehta, 1966
    Recording with Jacqueline and Pinchas Zukerman, Abbey Road Studios, London, 1969
    Daniel Barenboim talks about Beethoven sonatas during Australian concert tour, September 1970"
    With Zubin Mehta, Olivier Messiaen and his wife in Paris, late 1970s

    London: Meets Jacqueline du Pré. They marry in Jerusalem in 1967, during the Six-Day War, and perform and record together in the next years until Ms. du Pré is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She dies, in London, in 1987


    London: Performs, and later records, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 with Otto Klemperer & Philharmonia Orchestra. They subsequently record all the Beethoven piano concertos. Daniel Barenboim later records the Beethoven piano concertos twice again, as conductor with Arthur Rubinstein/London Philharmonic Orchestra and as both pianist and conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra


    Berlin: Conducting debut with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; London: First recital with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Die Winterreise), which leads to an extensive concert and recording collaboration


    Chicago: Conducts Chicago Symphony Orchestra for first time (Four separate concerts in November include Dvorák Cello Concerto and Silent Woods with du Pré, Beethoven Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3, Mozart Concerto for Violin, No. 5 with Zukerman, and Bruckner Symphony No. 7)


    Paris: Music Director of L’Orchestre de Paris. His tenure is marked by a commitment to contemporary music with performances of works by Lutoslawski, Berio, Boulez, Henze, Dutilleux and Takemitsu


    Berlin: Begins conducting at Deutsche Oper, Berlin (Le nozze di Figaro; then Tristan und Isolde; later Fidelio, Aida, Der Fliegende Holländer)

  • Berlin, Chicago, and Beyond


    Berlin, Chicago, and Beyond

    Bayreuth with Rene Kollo, Wolfgang Wagner, and Johanna Meier after the premiere of Tristan, 1981
    With Sir Georg Solti, Pierre Boulez, and Zubin Mehta after a concert by the Orchestre de Paris in London, 1988
    Performing in 1989
    Playing with and conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1991
    In rehearsal, 1992
    Photo: Thomas Müller
    At the West-Eastern Divan Workshop, 1999

    Munich: Performs as pianist with Munich Philharmonic and Sergiu Celibidache. Gives concerts with Celibidache in Munich every year thereafter


    Bayreuth debut with a new production of Tristan und Isolde. Becomes a regular visitor, conducting The Ring, Parsifal, Die Meistersinger and Tristan und Isolde



    Bayreuth: Conducts new production of Der Ring des Nibelungen, which runs through the summer of 1992


    Chicago: Named ninth Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, succeeding Sir Georg Solti from 9/91. His contract runs until 2006; Vienna: Conducting debut with Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Berlin. Leads Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in concert at the Philharmonie on the occasion of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall (Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No.7)


    Chicago: First concert as new Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (First program was an open-air concert. First official concert was Bruckner Symphony No. 5); Autobiography, A Life in Music, is published


    Berlin: Becomes General Music Director of Staatsoper Unter den Linden. His contract runs until 2002; Signs exclusive recording contract with Warner Classics International


    London: Performs Beethoven cycle (symphonies & piano concertos) with Berliner Staatskapelle: “Barenboim proved again that he is simply one of the most musical musicians in the world today. […] While this was unmistakably Beethoven for today it was also true to the spirit of the composer’s time. […] the aristocratic tone of Berlin’s oldest orchestra showed itself right in the opening bars.” Repeats cycle in Vienna, Berlin, and New York in 2000


    West Bank: Gives recital at Birzeit University in Ramallah; Berlin: Records Beethoven’s Fidelio with Meier/Domingo/Struckmann/Berliner Staatsoper; With the Berliner Staatskapelle, makes his first recording of Beethoven symphony cycle (Nos. 1-9) for CD and DVD; Audio Weimar: Directs West-Eastern Divan Project: Workshop for young music students from the Near and Middle East

  • Life and Music


    Life and Music

    Photo: Richard Haughton, Courtesy of Teldec Classics International
    With Yo-Yo Ma in Chicago, 2000
    Maurizio Pollini, Barenboim, and Claudio Abbado at La Scala
    With Maxim Vengerov
    With Edward Said
    With Claudio Abbado at La Scala
    Daniel Barenboim and his wife, Elena Bashkirova
    With Plácido Domingo
    With Rolando Villazón at the Teatro de la Maestranza, Seville
    Conducting the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
    Rehearsing with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra
    Performing in Gaza City with musicians from the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Orchestre de Paris
    West-Eastern Divan Orchestra concert in Korean Demilitarized Zone; Photo by Luis Castilla
    With Pope Benedict XVI on Saint Day; Photo by Servizio Fotografico
    With German President Joachim Gauck, 2013
    West-Eastern Divan Orchestra debut in United Arab Emirates; Photo by Manuel Vaca
    Barenboim-Said Akademie celebrates topping out ceremony"

    Leads Staatsoper Berlin and Berlin Philharmonic in cycle of Mozart Da Ponte Operas and Mozart piano concertos over a period of three years. Operas took place at the Staatsoper Berlin while selected piano concertos and concert arias were performed with the Berlin Philharmonic and guest soloists at the Philharmonie


    New York: Carnegie Hall mounts tribute to Daniel Barenboim as pianist, chamber musician, conductor and teacher in his 50th Year of Performance; Buenos Aires: Gives 50th Anniversary recital at the Teatro Colon on August 19.


    Leads Staatsoper Berlin in four seasons at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Operas include Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Wagner’s TannhäuserDie Meistersinger, Tristan und IsoldeDer Fliegende Hollander, and R. Strauss’s Elektra. Other works include Brahms Requiem, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Piano Concerto No. 4, Schumann Symphony No. 2 and Piano Concerto, and Mahler Symphony No. 5


    Recordings of Beethoven Symphonies and Busoni’s Die Brautwahl win Cannes Classical Awards; West-Eastern Divan Workshop and Orchestra takes place in Chicago; Leads CSO on European tour; Signs new five-year contract with Staatskapelle Berlin; Holds three-week festival, “Wagner and Modernism,” with CSO in Chicago.


    Leads Staatsoper Berlin in three sold out Ring Cycles in Japan; Conducts Wagner marathon at Staatsoper Berlin, including two complete cycles of the composer’s ten major operas; Performs Beethoven sonatas cycle at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires; West-Eastern Divan Workshop and Orchestra takes place in Seville, hosted by the Fundación Tres Culturas del Mediterráneo; Performs piano recital in Ramallah; Autobiography Daniel Barenboim, A Life in Music reprinted with six new chapters; Book Parallels and Paradoxes: Explorations in Music and Society, written together with Edward Said, is released; Wins Prince of Asturias Award for Concord with Edward Said; Wins German Federal Cross of Merit; Wins Tolerance Prize from Evangelical Academy in Tutzing; Celebrates 60th birthday with Benefit Concert for Staatsoper Berlin, performing Brahms Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 with Zubin Mehta conducting


    CD of Wagner’s Tannhäuser with Staatskapelle Berlin wins Grammy Award; Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin win Wilhelm Furtwängler Prize; Performs Brahms cycle in Paris with Staatskapelle Berlin; Tours Japan with CSO; Gives all-Beethoven recital at Friends School in Ramallah; Leads West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Seville; Performs a Memorial Concert for Edward Said in Chicago with the CSO and participants of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra


    Leads Staatskapelle Berlin on tour of US with works by Robert Schumann; Performs Beethoven sonatas cycle at Vienna’s Musikverein; Gives Brahms Symphonies cycle with Staatskapelle Berlin in Munich; Leads Palestine Youth Orchestra in its first concert and gives Beethoven sonatas concert at Friends School in Ramallah; Wins Wolf Prize for his dedication to human rights causes and his commitment to bringing people together. Contributes the $50,000 award to music education projects in Israel and Ramallah; Performs Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier in Germany, Argentina, Spain, and the U.S.


    Delivers first Edward Said Lecture at Columbia University in New York; Leads two days of Beethoven sonatas masterclasses with seven young pianists in Chicago, taped for television and DVD; Named Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University; Takes CSO on tours of U.S. and Europe and appears with the Orchestra at the Berlin Festtage and Lucerne Festival; Leads Staatskapelle Berlin on tours of Japan and Spain; Performs Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (Books I and/or II) in Holland, the UK, France, Spain, Japan, and Austria; Performs Beethoven sonatas cycle at Berlin’s Staatsoper, recorded for DVD release; Opens music kindergarten in Berlin; Wins Special Ambassador of Music Prize of ECHO Klassik 2005; Takes West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on tour to Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, England, Scotland, and Ramallah; Conducts concert with Staatskapelle Berlin and soloists Plácido Domingo, Thomas Quasthoff and René Pape to benefit victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia


    Delivers 2006 BBC Reith Lectures in London, Chicago, Berlin, and Jerusalem; Receives the Music Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation; Performs Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (Books 1 and 2) in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, France, and the United States; Takes Staatskapelle Berlin on tours to North America, Austria, and Spain; Conducts Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in Europakonzert 2006 in Prague, broadcast worldwide; Wins Kultur Groschen award; Wins Peace Prize from the Korn and Gerstenmann Foundation; Named Maestro Scaligero at La Scala, Milan; At the completion of his tenure as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1991-2006), is named “Honorary Conductor for Life” by CSO musicians; Gives six lectures at Harvard University as Charles Eliot Norton Professor; Receives Robert Schumann Prize; Receives Understanding and Tolerance Award from Berlin’s Jewish Museum; Receives Hessischer Peace Prize; Leads West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on a four-concert tour of the U.S. including a farewell concert for United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan at the UN and performances at Brown University, Harris Theater, and Carnegie Hall


    Participates in the first of a series of public debates in Brussels hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee under the patronage of the European Commission and the European Parliament; Commemorates the 50th anniversary of his Carnegie Hall debut with performances of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier (Books 1 and 2); Leads Staatskapelle Berlin on German/European tour; Leads Wiener Philharmoniker on tour to Budapest, Oslo, Moscow, Valencia, Madrid, and New York; Awarded the 2007 Goethe Medal in Germany; Awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music degree by Oxford University; Named Commandeur dans L’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur in France; Named an Ambassador for Peace by the United Nations; Performs all-Liszt piano recitals in Paris, Milan, Bologna, Florence, and Rome; Performs as pianist and conductor in Beethoven Piano Concertos cycle with the Staatskapelle Berlin at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr; Conducts Parsifal, Manon, and Don Giovanni at the Staatsoper Berlin; Conducts the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival and on tour in Malaga, Cordoba, Madrid, Lisbon, Lucerne, Brussels, and Berlin; Conducts the Wiener Philharmoniker in Eugene Onegin at the Salzburg Festival and in concert in Salzburg, London (Proms), Dublin, and at the Lucerne Festival; Opens La Scala season with a new production of Tristan und Isolde, directed by Patrice Chéreau; Leads Staatsoper Berlin and the Staatskapelle Berlin on tour to China and Japan; Awarded the Praemium Imperiale in Japan; La Musica Sveglia il Tempo is published in Italian by Feltrinelli (editions in many other languages to appear in 2008)


    Receives Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal; Receives first-ever Honorary Doctor of Music degree awarded by School of Oriental and African Studies; Performs Mahler and Bruckner with the Staatskapelle Berlin in Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires; Performs Beethoven piano sonata cycle at Teatro alla Scala; Performs in Europe with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra; Writes a book of essays on music and life, Everything is Connected; Performs in Mumbai with Zubin Mehta; Conducts world premiere of Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto with Emmanuel Pahud in Jerusalem; Continues Bruckner/Schönberg cycle with Staatskapelle Berlin (begun in 2006/7 season); Performs chamber music matinée concerts in the Staatsoper Berlin with members of the Staatskapelle; Performs complete Mahler cycle in Vienna; Makes conducting debut at the Metropolitan Opera with Tristan und Isolde; Performs world premiere of Elliott Carter’s Interventions for Piano and Orchestra, and New York premiere on the composer’s 100th birthday; Performs all-Liszt recital at the Metropolitan Opera, the first piano recital there since Vladimir Horowitz’s performances; Performs with members of West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in the United Nations’ General Assembly Hall to commemorate 60 years of its declaration of Human Rights; Performs New Year’s concert with Vienna Philharmonic


    Embarks on recording partnership with Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics; Named Top Man of 2010 by The Telegraph; Beethoven for All Project founded with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the Staatskapelle Berlin


    Begins tenure as La Scala Music Director; Receives Willy-Brandt-Prize, recognizing achievements in increasing international understanding; Performs with West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Korean Demilitarized Zone; Leads West-Eastern Divan Orchestra on its inaugural tour of Asia and Doha Festival for Music and Dialogue; Inaugurates the Edward Said Hall in Ramallah; Made Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE); Gives concert in Gaza City with musicians from the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Filarmonica della Scala, the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Orchestre de Paris; Gives impromptu concert in Turbine Hall of Tate Modern, London


    Carries Olympic flag at London Olympics Opening Ceremony; Publishes book “La musica è un tutto: Etica ed estetica” (Music as a Whole: Ethics and Aesthetics); Receives ECHO Klassik Lifetime Achievement Award in Berlin; Releases complete Beethoven sonatas on Decca Classics as part of Beethoven for All project; Covers October 2012 issue of Opera Now; Appears on Charlie Rose, CNN International, The Independent, The Guardian, The Economist, NPR Classical; Marks Pope Benedict XVI’s Saint Day with West-Eastern Divan Orchestra performing Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth symphonies; Named Honoree in Gramophone’s annual Hall of Fame


    Receives Federal Cross of Merit of the Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz) by German President Joachim Gauck; Receives Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa from Weizmann Institute of Science; Receives Marion Dönhoff Prize in Hamburg; Receives Freedom Award of Freie Universität Berlin for contributions to promoting mutual understanding in Middle East; Covers July 2013 issue of Gramophone; Published in The New York Review of Books: “Wagner and the Jews”; Performs Wagner’s Ring Cycle at BBC Proms, marking his UK Wagner opera debut and the first time the operas have been performed at the festival in one summer; Profiled by PBS NewsHour, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal; Initiates residency at Brown University with West-Eastern Divan Orchestra


    Performs New Year’s concert with Vienna Philharmonic; Conducts West-Eastern Divan Orchestra debut in United Arab Emirates; Presents new initiative, Peral Music Label, a digital record label “for the thinking ear”; Commemorates 25th anniversary of the Fall of Berlin Wall; Records complete Schubert piano sonatas for Deutsche Grammophon; Celebrates 50th anniversary of his debut with Berliner Philharmoniker in its annual Europakonzert; Celebrates 15th anniversary of West-Eastern Divan Orchestra


    Topping out ceremony of Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, featuring Pierre Boulez Hall designed by Frank Gehry, and offering a degree-conferring program in music and humanities to young musicians from the Middle East invited on scholarship; Designs new piano featuring parallel strings for Schubert sonata cycles with Belgian instrument maker Chris Maene and support from Steinway & Sons; Named one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune Magazine