News from Thursday, May 19th, 2011
The pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim is honored with the Bruno Kreisky Prize for services to human rights. Barenboim receives the award for his commitment to reconciliation in the Middle East conflict.
Together with the literary scholar Edward Said, who was born in Palestine, Barenboim founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, consisting of young Israeli and Arab musicians. Barenboim himself was born in Buenos Aires in 1942 to a Jewish family who had fled the pogroms in Tsarist Russia. Furthermore, three associations are honored that are dedicated to the care of torture and war survivors.
The Bruno Kreisky Prize for services to human rights is awarded at irregular intervals by a foundation that was established on the occasion of the 65th birthday of the then Austrian Chancellor in 1976 and endowed with 700,000 euros. Previous winners include Nelson Mandela (South Africa), Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (Brazil), the Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Israeli publicist and peace activist Uri Avnery.