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Daniel Barenboim to succeed Sir George Solti at Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim, music director designate of the Chicago Symphony orchestra, holds a news conference on February 14, 1989 at the orchestra Hall in Chicago. Barenboim, currently music director of L'Orchestra de Paris, will succeed Sir George Solti who has held the position in Chicago since 1969. Barenboim, 46, will begin his tenure on September 1, 1991. (UPI Photo/Ray Foli/Files)
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Daniel Barenboim (born 15 November 1942) is an Argentine-born Israeli pianist and conductor. He is also known for his work with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a Sevilla-based orchestra of young Arab and Jewish musicians.

Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His grandparents were Russian Ashkenazi Jews. He started piano lessons at the age of five with his mother, continuing to study with his father Enrique, who remained his only teacher. In August 1950, at the age of seven, he gave his first formal concert in Buenos Aires.

In 1952, the Barenboim family moved to Israel. Two years later, in the summer of 1954, his parents brought 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. Furtwängler called the young Barenboim a "phenomenon" and invited him to perform the Beethoven First Piano Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic, but Barenboim's father told the maestro that it was too soon after the Holocaust for a child of Jewish parents to be performing in Berlin.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Daniel Barenboim."