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"Arise Sir Daniel Barenboim" - well, not quite but you can certainly pick-up that lance

Written By The Wagnerian on Friday, 24 June 2011 | 3:02:00 am

There are all sorts of puns to be made about  Daniel Barenboim receiving a Knighthood, but I would never stoop low. They shall remain where they should - buried deep in the shrubbery. 

Conductor of at least two of my favoured productions of Tristan Und Isolde on DVD (the Ponnelle and the Chéreau), and a much visited Ring Cycle,  Daniel Barenboim,  will accept a knighthood from the British ambassador to Berlin on Thursday. According to the British Embassy, this is to be given in in recognition of his work toward reconciliation in the Middle East through music.

Unfortunately, because he is not a British citizen he will not - even if he wanted to - be able to use the title "Sir". Instead he will become  an honorary Knight Commander of the most excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE). But as this is the highest accolade that can be given to a none British citizens it should not be under estimated.

According to AFP:
"British Ambassador Simon McDonald will present the accolade, the highest accorded to foreign citizens, at a gala dinner in the German capital in the name of Queen Elizabeth II.
McDonald hailed Barenboim's tireless campaign for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, including his founding in 1999 of the East-West Divan orchestra with the late Palestinian-American scholar Edward W. Said.
"Daniel Barenboim is a staunch advocate of the unifying power of music. He certainly has become an inspirational figure, not least of all for the next generation of musicians," he said in a statement.
Barenboim, who lives in Berlin and is general music director of the city's State Opera and its Staatskapelle, said he was "deeply touched" by the honour, adding that years he spent in Britain had been "of formative importance until this very day."
Sounds like a good excuse for a little Barenboim conducted Wagner to me, and a little Bruckner too - for good measure.