Israeli-Argentinian conductor Barenboim to resume conducting after health break

BERLIN — World-renowned conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, who retired in October due to illness, will take up the torch for two New Year’s concerts, his venue announced on Friday.

The Berlin State Opera, of which Barenboim has been general musical director since 1992, announced that he would “conduct Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on December 31 and January 1”.

It was not immediately clear whether Barenboim would schedule any further appearances in 2023.

In October, Barenboim said he would give up “some of his enforcement activities, in particular the conduct of engagements”, in the coming months after being diagnosed with a “serious neurological illness”.

Barenboim, 80, had already canceled a series of concerts for health reasons this year.

“My health has deteriorated over the past few months and I have been diagnosed with a serious neurological disease. I now have to focus on my physical well-being as much as possible,” he tweeted at the time, adding that he made the announcement with “a combination of pride and sadness.”

Berlin-based Barenboim was born in Argentina to Jewish parents. He was acclaimed for a distinguished career which saw him start performing internationally as a pianist at the age of 10. He moved to Israel as a teenager and later became a prominent bandleader.

He gained further fame when he co-founded a foundation and an orchestra to promote cooperation between young musicians from Israel and Arab countries.

He also founded the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, which trains talented musicians mainly from the Middle East and North Africa for a professional career.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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