Barenboim coup for Proms in Olympic year

  • @robbiesharp

Daniel Barenboim, one of the great conductors, will lead an unprecedented series of concerts at next year's BBC Proms to mark the beginning of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Argentinian-Israeli musician will conduct all nine of Beethoven's symphonies at next year's Proms, the first time Barenboim has done so in London. The final performance will be of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on 27 July, the night the Games begin.

The BBC Proms director, Roger Wright, said it would be the first time for more than 60 years that the entire symphony series – featuring some of the most critically-acclaimed work in the history of music – had been performed at the Proms.

"It's going to be a normal Proms year but it will have a special element to it," said Mr Wright. "We want to recognise that London will be a special place at that time."

Barenboim will be joined by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, an orchestra of Arab and Israeli musicians based in Spain. The orchestra, co-founded by Barenboim in 1999, aims to promote understanding between Israelis and Palestinians.