Daniel Barenboim named music director at La Scala

MILAN Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:17pm BST

Israeli-Argentine conductor Daniel Barenboim directs the West-Eastern Divan orchestra, which includes Arab and Israeli musicians, during a rehearsal before the Barenboim Peace concert wishing peace on the Korean Peninsula at Imjingak pavilion, near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul, August 15, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak

Israeli-Argentine conductor Daniel Barenboim directs the West-Eastern Divan orchestra, which includes Arab and Israeli musicians, during a rehearsal before the Barenboim Peace concert wishing peace on the Korean Peninsula at Imjingak pavilion, near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Paju, about 55 km (34 miles) north of Seoul, August 15, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

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MILAN (Reuters) - Milan's La Scala opera house said on Thursday Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim would serve as its new music director from December for the next five years.

The Argentine-born musician will help prepare operas, concerts and tours at the glitzy opera house for about four months each year, La Scala said in a statement.

Barenboim, 68, has been principal guest conductor at La Scala since 2006. The 233-year old institution has not had a music director since Riccardo Muti's exit in 2005.

Currently music director at Berlin's Staatsoper, Barenboim is also renowned for his work with the West-Eastern Divan youth orchestra, which brings together Arabs and Israelis.

(Writing by Catherine Hornby; editing by Andrew Roche)

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