(SF, 29 August 2018) The Festival Brooch with Rubies was presented to Daniel Barenboim by Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler, who extended this award of the Salzburg Festival to the great artist, conductor and pianist yesterday evening after his chamber concert at the Main Auditorium of the Mozarteum Foundation – Beethoven Piano Trios 1 · Michael Barenboim · Kian Soltani · Daniel Barenboim.
Including tonight’s concert, Daniel Barenboim has appeared 81 times at the Salzburg Festival – conducting operas 24 times, performing as a pianist or conductor in 50 concerts and appearing five times on stage in conversations or master courses.
On 18 August 1965, Daniel Barenboim made his Salzburg Festival debut – as a pianist in an orchestra concert of the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta. Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in C minor K. 491 was the featured work. “The younger generation is taking the stage…” the reviewer Erik Werba wrote on 20 August 1965, continuing: “The pianist Daniel Barenboim, a native of South America who has made his home in Tel Aviv in recent years, is only twenty-two and recently caused a stir in Berlin as a soloist in Wilhelm Furtwängler’s Piano Concerto.” The Argentinean’s talent, however, had been recognized much earlier, as the review goes on to record: “Daniel Barenboim gave his first piano recital in Vienna in 1953, as a ten-year old boy wearing short pants. The music critic of the ‘Wiener Zeitung’ spoke of the certain musical future of this talent, who did not seem to him a child prodigy destined to be forgotten, and he formulated his prophesy as follows: ‘We hope to hear this special talent in a dozen years at the Salzburg Festival.’ These twelve years have passed – yesterday, Daniel Barenboim bowed to an enthusiastic audience and thanked Mehta and the Vienna Philharmonic for their wonderful collaboration.”
In 1990, the citizen of the world Barenboim made his Festival conducting debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, performing works by Arnold Schoenberg and Ludwig van Beethoven. Ever since, he has been a welcome guest at the Salzburg Festival, leading an array of orchestras ranging from the Staatskapelle Berlin to the Vienna Philharmonic and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which he founded in 1999. President Helga Rabl-Stadler also touched upon this in her speech: “With his untiring campaign for peace, Daniel Barenboim is the ideal embodiment of Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Max Reinhardt’s idea of ‘a festival in Salzburg as one of the first works of peace after World War I’. His belief in the power of art even in apparently hopeless times inspires him to continue his work on the ever-so-difficult peace process in the Middle East. In his keynote address opening the 2010 Festival, Barenboim quoted Richard von Weizsäcker several times: ‘In trying to achieve peace, it is enormously helpful not to wait for the other side to move, but to advance oneself.’”
The Festival Brooch with Rubies has previously been awarded to artists including Christa Ludwig, Christian Stückl, Jürgen Flimm, Riccardo Muti, Plácido Domingo, Anne-Sophie Mutter and, in this summer, Mariss Jansons.