“The conductor Daniel Barenboim’s efforts to lead the Berlin Staatskapelle at a concert in Tehran drew criticism this week from the Israeli culture minister, who called the performance anti-Israel, and a rebuff from Iranian officials, who said on Friday that they would block the concert because of Mr. Barenboim’s Israeli citizenship,” writes Michael Cooper in Friday’s (8/28) New York Times. “Mr. Barenboim, who also holds Palestinian citizenship, had been in talks with Iran, exploring the possibility of a concert there. The nuclear accord reached this summer involving Iran and Germany, the United States and four other nations has awakened hopes for greater cultural exchanges between Tehran and the West. Israel strongly opposes the deal. A spokesman for Iran’s Culture Ministry was quoted on Friday by the Fars news agency as saying that officials there had decided against the concert because Mr. Barenboim is Israeli. Mr. Barenboim is the music director of the Berlin Staatskapelle, which said in a statement on Thursday that the proposed concert had the backing of Germany’s foreign minister … On Wednesday, Israel’s culture minister, Miri Regev, denounced the concert and said that she would urge German officials to cancel it.”

Posted August 31, 2015