Following the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra’s Friday evening performance of Beethoven’s Choral Symphony at the BBC Proms, conductor and founder Daniel Barenboim gave an impromptu speech to the audience.
The seven-minute address encompassed his thoughts on the orchestra's mission, stressing that it was not a political organisation despite its dedication to bridging difficult political divides.
Barenboim also spoke of his gratitude to the Proms for giving his orchestra a unique platform to perform the complete Beethoven symphony cycle alongside works by Pierre Boulez, and to have the concerts televised and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
‘Our gratitude to the BBC who gave us this wonderful, unique opportunity to be here and play all the Beethoven symphonies - and in every concert one, and sometimes two, works by Pierre Boulez - and have all that televised. Ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you, we travel a lot, there is no country in the world that would do that for music and for culture.’
To watch the address in full and to revisit the complete televised Beethoven and Boulez series visit Discover Beethoven at the Proms. The broadcasts are available until August 24, 2012.
And you can vote for Daniel Barenboim as one of the nominees for Gramophone's Artist of the Year 2012.