The Barenboim-Said Foundation (USA) is dedicated to the empowerment of young musicians from the Middle East and North Africa. The foundation is based in New York City and is committed to the vision of our founders, Edward W. Said and Daniel Barenboim. Guided by their belief in the power of humanism and a hope that cultural exchange can serve as a catalyst for social change, the Barenboim-Said Foundation (USA) supports projects and programs that advance the musical and educational development required to pursue artistic excellence at the highest level.
Humanism is the only – I would go so far as saying the final – resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history. Separation between peoples is not a solution for any of the problems that divide peoples. And certainly ignorance of the other provides no help whatever. Cooperation and coexistence of the kind that music lived as we have lived, performed, shared and loved it together, might be.
Our project may not change the world, but it is a step forward. Edward Said and myself see our project as an ongoing dialogue, where the universal, metaphysical language of music links with the continuous dialogue that we have with young people, and that young people have with each other.
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra evolved to become a professional orchestra of exceptional quality, but the organization has stayed true to its commitment nurturing young musicians and thinkers.
The Barenboim-Said Akademie with its extraordinary concert hall Pierre Boulez Saal designed by Frank Gehry, offers an unprecedented conservatory education for talented young musicians from the Middle East, North Africa, and around the world.
The Barenboim-Said Music Center iprovides music education for over 110 students from the age of 4-18 after school. The curriculum prepares the students to become professional musicians and gives them the chance to study at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, Germany.