For more than 20 years, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has been a significant presence in the international music scene. In 1999, Daniel Barenboim and the Palestinian literary scholar Edward W. Said created an orchestra to promote dialogue between the different cultures of the Middle East through music-making and co-existence.
In response to the great support the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has received from its many friends in Great Britain, the West-Eastern Divan Trust UK has been established as a registered charity in September 2011. Our mission is to support transcultural dialogue through music education and concerts. We strive to overcome barriers and to contribute to important reforms and renewals.
We share this mission with our international partner institutions and cooperate closely in particular with the Daniel Barenboim Stiftung (DBS foundation) in Berlin, established in 2008 by Daniel Barenboim. The DBS represents the umbrella organisation for the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and various further music-educational projects. In this effort music plays a key role: both as a universal language that can help to encourage mutual acceptance between people of profoundly different backgrounds and as an intuitive means of communication that has a major role to play in the prevention and reconciliation of conflicts.