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During the 2007 Salzburg Festival, Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra presented the School for the Ear workshop series, in which the musicians expanded their knowledge of selected masterpieces of the orchestral repertoire. Barenboim's enthusiasm, humor, and sincerity make this documentary about those workshops a truly enriching and entertaining experience. This episode is dedicated to Beethoven’s Leonore Overture and Schönberg’s Variations for Orchestra.
In 1999, Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said made a crazy gamble, bringing together musicians from Israel, Palestine, and other Arab countries into one orchestra. Since its founding in 1999, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has flourished. As Barenboim describes it, the project brings young people together, "not so that they forget or hide their differences, but so that they can understand them." He adds that "making music together gives us the best opportunity to learn to live with one another."