Daniel Barenboim is an Argentine pianist and conductor. Currently, he is general music director of La Scala in Milan the Berlin State Opera, and the Staatskapelle Berlin; he previously served as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris. Barenboim is also known for his work with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra, a Seville-based orchestra of young Arab and Israeli musicians, and as a resolute critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. Barenboim has received many awards and prizes, and he has won seven Grammy awards for his work and discography. Barenboim holds citizenship of Argentina, Israel, Palestine, and Spain.
Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Argentinian Jewish parents, Aida and Enrique Barenboim. He started piano lessons at the age of five with his mother, continuing to study with his father, who remained his only teacher. In 1952, Barenboim moved to Israel with his family. Two years later, his parents took him to Salzburg to take part in Igor Markevitch's conducting classes. During that summer he also met and played for Wilhelm Furtwängler, who has remained a central musical influence and ideal for Barenboim. In 1955 Barenboim studied harmony and composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
Following his debut as a conductor with the English Chamber Orchestra in Abbey Road Studios, London, in 1966, Barenboim was invited to conduct by many European and American symphony orchestras.
Barenboim, a supporter of human rights, including Palestinian rights, is an outspoken critic of Israel's conservative governments and the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
In July 2012, Barenboim and the orchestra played a pivotal role at the BBC Proms, performing a cycle of Beethoven's nine symphonies, with the Ninth timed to coincide with the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Barenboim has performed several times in the West Bank, in 1999 at Bir Zeit University and several times in Ramallah.
Barenboim met English cellist Jacqueline Du Pré on New Year's Eve 1966. They were married on 15 June 1967 at the Western Wall. Some critics have compared their musical union to that between Clara and Robert Schumann. She died on October 1987. In the early 80s, Barenboim had an affair with the Russian pianist Elena Bashkirova. The two lived together and had two children: David Arthur Barenboim, now manager-writer for hip-hop bands, and Michael Barenboim, now violinist. They were married in 1988. Source: Wikipedia