At a topping out ceremony in the future home of the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, Daniel Barenboim celebrated the imminent opening of the extraordinary educational institution that expands upon the vision of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which the pianist and conductor co-founded with the literary scholar and public intellectual Edward Said in 1999.
The academy—which features a new 620-seat concert hall, the Pierre Boulez Hall, designed by Frank Gehry—will be housed in the former stage depot of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, a designated landmark building. Up to 90 young students from the Middle East—invited on scholarship—will be enrolled in a four-year bachelor degree program in music, with a curriculum rooted in both music and the humanities.
Daniel Barenboim will be in charge of the academic and musical direction of the academy. Michael Naumann, former minister of culture of the Federal Government of Germany, is acting CEO of the Academy. Mariam Said, Wolf Lepenies and Joachim Sartorius are members of the BSA’s Advisory Council.