"The uniquely varied life of Daniel Barenboim as conductor, performer, and political activist makes this biography compelling reading. His parents, both musicians, taught Barenboim to play the piano at a very early age. When Arthur Rubinstein heard the young prodigy, he was so impressed he immediately brought him to the famous American impresario to the stars, Sol Hurok, who propelled Barenboim onto the world stage. Since then he has performed on virtually every concert stage throughout the world." "As both virtuoso pianist and conductor of symphonies and operas, Barenboim has known and worked with many of the most distinguished and exciting musicians of the twentieth century, including Arthur Rubinstein, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Zubin Mehta, Pierre Boulez, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Pable Casals, and not least his wife, Jacqueline du Pre. When in 1967, he married the high-profile, beautiful cellist du Pre, the golden couple made headlines as they traveled the world performing - often together - until Jacqueline's untimely death in 1987." "Following in the footsteps of Leonard Bernstein - whose keyboard virtuosity paralleled his brilliant conducting talent - Barenboim, too, achieved this pinnacle of his glorious musical career, in both professions, with equal panache." "Until recently, Barenboim was the musical director of the Paris Opera. He has now taken the post of musical director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, sharing his season's commitments with the Berlin State Opera, where he is also the musical director." "Barenboim's other passion - politics - earns the contentious artist constant reprimand in Israel. His championship of a peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians is regarded as highly controversial. Ignoring all dangers, however, he frequently crosses over to forbidden territory, holding master classes for Palestinians, as well as performing there. Further defying authorities, he started a musical summer camp in Germany for Middle Eastern students. "Each one of us has the responsibility to do what's right," he said. "My way is playing music." Addressing himself to his Palestinian students in Ramallah, in the fall of 2002, the New York Times quoted him as declaring, "I want to play music for you, and maybe in a very small way, together we will bring down the hatred so prevalent here."" "In October 2002, Daniel Barenboim and the writer Edward Said were awarded the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation and Peace, for their efforts to promote peace in the Middle East."--Jacket.