Renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim canceled his European tour with the East-West Divan Orchestra due to health concerns. He also studied the symphonic poem My Homeland by Bedřich Smetana, which will be heard on May 12 and 13 at the opening of the Prague Spring Festival.
Barenboim will be replaced by his former assistant, 29-year-old German Thomas Guggeis. He currently leads the Berlin State Opera, and in the 2023/2024 season he will be the music director of the Frankfurt Opera for five years.
Barenboim, 72, has had heart problems in recent weeks. Doctors advised him to rest for the next few weeks. “I’m sorry to withdraw from this tour,” he said, adding that he must now take care of his health.
Conductor with the East-West Divan Orchestra performs My Homeland Smetana, which they have besides Prague Spring play in Milan or Paris.
“It is very important and symbolic that our orchestra, which still does not have a homeland, will play this composition in Prague,” said Barenboim some time ago.
The East-West Divan Orchestra was founded by Barenboim and American-Palestinian literary scholar Edward Said in 1999. The agency’s goal is to bring Israeli and Palestinian youth closer together. The orchestra also includes musicians from other countries in the Middle East.
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