Daniel Barenboim (born 15 November 1942) is an Argentinian-Israeli pianist and conductor. He has led several important European and American symphony orchestras. Currently he is general music director of the Berlin State Opera and the Staatskapelle Berlin, and principal guest conductor of La Scala in Milan. He is also known for his work with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a Sevilla-based orchestra of young Arab and Israeli musicians, and as an outspoken critic of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.
Barenboim has received numerous awards and prizes, including France's Légion d'honneur both as a Commander and Grand Officier, the German Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz and, together with Edward Said, Spain's Prince of Asturias Concord Award. He has won seven Grammy awards for his work and discography and is regarded as one of the greatest musicians of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to parents of a Russian Jewish descent. He started piano lessons at the age of five with his mother, continuing to study with his father, who remained his only teacher. On August 19, 1950, at the age of seven, he gave his first formal concert