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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent account of this unique orchestra, 30 Nov 2009
This review is from: An Orchestra Beyond Borders (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which sets out the background for the development of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra. The interviews with the musicians involved in the workshops are both highly-informative and absorbing.
After reading this book, I watched the two films 'Knowledge is the Beginning' and the '2005 Ramallah Concert'. It's a brilliant project and music lovers and humanists alike will be inspired by its objectives for 'harmony, freedom and solidarity' [Barenboim].
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving towards peaceful Israeli-Palestinian resolution, 16 Sep 2012
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This review is from: An Orchestra Beyond Borders (Paperback)
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was founded by Daniel Barenboim and the late Edward Said in 1999 "to promote understanding between Israelis and Palestinians and pave the way for a peaceful and fair solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict"[1].

This book provides an inspiring picture of the Divan orchestra as seen from the inside through a set of accounts written by orchestra members, describing experiences, difficulties, the breaking down of barriers and mistrust between members from conflicting nations, and the building of friendships and trust.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in bringing the East-West conflict to an end (whether interested in classical music or not).

[1] [...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book for music-lovers and Middle-East watchers - a glimpse of what COULD be!!, 17 Sep 2014
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This review is from: An Orchestra Beyond Borders (Paperback)
I have long admired the courage and personal integrity of Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said - the Jew and the Palestinian - who showed the world that friendship between their two nations IS possible, and who went on to co-found the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to bring together young musicians from all around the region who were willing to set aside political, religious and cultural prejudices in order to make music together. And what music!! I had the privilege last month of hearing this wonderful orchestra perform a Prom at the Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Maestro Barenboim, and it was all the more poignant because of the current war in Gaza. Many members of the orchestra must have been fearful for their families and friends, yet they sat together making wonderful HARMONIOUS music. When I came home, I simply had to re-read this book in which with simplicity and honesty serving and former members of WEDO tell their personal stories and the lessons they have learnt as they have formed friendships with their foes as they make music together. This is a deeply moving, powerful book because of its very lack of mawkish sentimentality. A must-read for music-lovers as well as anyone interested in the politics of the highly-volatile Middle East. Quite simply, reading these young people restores HOPE - and for that, I, for one, am overwhelmingly grateful!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Orchestra Beyond Borders, 10 May 2010
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Mrs. A. M. Davis "cullenskink" (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: An Orchestra Beyond Borders (Paperback)
I have so enjoyed this book. The orchestra does seem rather too tied to Barenboim for there to be much hope that it could continue beyond his lifetime/retirement. Perhaps there is a younger conductor who could continue the good work, but he or she would need to be very charismatic to attract the backing that would be necessary. However, the fact that young people from that area are going into the wider world with far different attitudes to one another than previous generations should gradually have an influence.
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An Orchestra Beyond Borders
An Orchestra Beyond Borders by Elena Cheah (Paperback - 1 Aug 2009)
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