4 May 2011

'Peace concert' held in Gaza

8:25 pm on 4 May 2011

Israeli conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim has taken an orchestra of European musicians to Gaza to perform a 'peace concert'.

Israel forbids its civilians from travelling to the territory, which is governed by Hamas, so Barenboim crossed via Egypt accompanied by 25 musicians from some of Europe's top orchestras, including the Berlin and Vienna philharmonics.

The BBC reports hundreds of Palestinians, many of them schoolchildren, attended the performance.

The programme included pieces by Mozart including Eine Kleine Nachtmusik and the G minor symphony.

The concert was co-ordinated in secret with the United Nations until invitations were distributed earlier this week.

The BBC reports Barenboim has used music for years to try to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

He previously set up an orchestra made up of young Arab and Israeli musicians, known as the East-West Divan orchestra. In 2005, it performed in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Barenboim accepted honorary Palestinian citizenship in 2008.