Although we learn from his memoirs that Edward Said renounced his thoughts of a career as a concert pianist in his late teens, music remained a lifelong passion. For many years opera critic for The Nation and author of numerous articles on musical theory as well as a book, Musical Elaborations, he gave informal concerts until the last decade of his life and played until the very end. Said's intense intellectual engagement with music, and his particular interest in ““performance,”” laid the ground for his close friendship over more than a decade with Daniel Barenboim. Born in Argentina and raised in Israel, Barenboim is one of the leading concert pianists and conductors of the second half of the twentieth century. He is currently music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (since 1991) and of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin (since 1992).

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