Israeli conductor Barenboim trying for Tehran concert


(JTA) — Israeli-Argentinean conductor Daniel Barenboim is negotiating with Iran to conduct a concert of a top German orchestra in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

Barenboim conducts the Staatskapelle Berlin at the Berlin State Opera, and has the State Opera’s endorsement to negotiate the concert, as well as that of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, according to the Times of Israel.

Steinmeier “supports Daniel Barenboim’s dedication to making music accessible to all people, irrespective of national, religious or ethnic boundaries,” said a statement from the State Opera Thursday, according to the Times of Israel.

Israeli Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev criticized the initiative on her Facebook page Wednesday, and said she intends to write a letter to her German counterpart protesting the potential concert.

“Iran is a state supporter of terror, stands behind Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas, and its leaders have blood on their hands,” she wrote on Facebook. “I believe Germany would do right to cancel the orchestra and conductor’s concert.”

This isn’t the first time Barenboim has run into controversy regarding Israel. He has attempted to have the music of anti-Semitic German composer Richard Wagner in Israel. He also holds honorary Palestinian citizenship and conducted a concert in Ramallah in 2005.

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