Daniel Barenboim to be honored with Freedom Award of Freie Universität

Daniel Barenboim will receive the Freedom Award of Freie Universität Berlin in a ceremony on October 23, 2013. The Freedom Award honors persons who have advanced freedom in a political, social, or academic context. University officials in a statement said that Maestro Barenboim is to be recognized for his commitment to promoting mutual understanding in the Middle East. Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Wolf Lepenies – sociologist, writer, and professor emeritus of the University – will present the honor.

Israeli violinist Guy Braunstein – former concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic – and Israeli-Palestinian pianist Saleem Abboud Ashkar will perform at the ceremony. Both musicians are former members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which Daniel Barenboim co-founded with Edward Said in 1999.

Daniel Barenboim’s work with the West-Eastern Divan and its partner projects has been recognized by such honors as the Willy-Brandt International Prize (2011), the Otto-Hahn-Friedensmedaille (2010), the Wesfälischer Friedenpreis (2010), the Moses Mendelssohn Medal (2009), the Hessische Friedenspreis (2007), the Korn and Gerstenmann Foundation’s Peace Prize (2006), the German Coordinating Council for Christian-Jewish Cooperation’s Buber-Rosenzweig-Medaille (2004), the Wolf Prize in Arts (2004), the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing’s Tolerance Prize (2002), and the Príncipe Asturias Prize (2002), awarded jointly to him and Edward Said. In 2007, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, named Daniel Barenboim United Nations Messenger of Peace. The Barenboim-Said Academy, slated to open in Berlin in 2015, will provide a musical and humanities education to young people from Israel and Arab countries.