Credo: Michael Barenboim

Violinist, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, 23
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The Independent Online

Music plays an important role in a child's education because it teaches aspects of existence for any human being. Playing the piano also develops sensitivity and precision in the hands. It's a precursor to any other instrument that you learn.

The fact that an Arab and an Israeli can talk to each other can change everything. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra brings together young people from countries in conflict and allows them to communicate. Mostly these people would never meet. It's important that the work of Wagner should be played in Israel. His music has nothing to do with his anti-Semitic views, so there's no real reason for the taboo. There has to be a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. I don't think it will be in the near future, but I think it will be in my lifetime. The end will have to involve both parties not losing and this is the problem.

It may be an advantage and a privilege to have a famous father [the conductor, Daniel Barenboim] but I've never known it any other way so I can't tell.

You don't choose an instrument, it chooses you. I started with the piano but took up the violin when I was about seven. It's a good thing too because there are already three pianists in my family.

Language determines the way you think, so if you know five, like my father, you have access to five ways of thought.

You can be Jewish and live in Berlin but you don't have to think about what that means very much. There are monuments so you don't totally forget what happened there, either.

It's important to have other things in life as well as what you do for your profession. I like to sit around and smoke a pipe and drink whisky and watch football. If you only do one thing you limit your way of thinking.

For information on the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, go to http://west-easterndivan.artists.warner.de

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