On the 60th anniversary of the birth of Israel, the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim considers the fate and the future of the country which he regards as his home – but where he is still an “outsider”.
There are photographs hanging on the walls of my dressing room in the Staatsoper Berlin, photographs that remind me of what I see when I look out the windows of my house in Jerusalem.
They are slightly faded, and here and there the paper is crumbling, but one can easily recognise the views: The Old City, the Dome of the Rock with its shining cupola, the walls, the gates.
Sometimes I sit in this room before a performance, looking at these pictures and thinking of Jerusalem, of Israel, my home.
Before 1989, this room was supposedly a refuge of the East German Stasi, the state police. If I happened to be a sentimental person, that fact would surely help me to become unsentimental, but I am not a sentimental person. The situation in the Middle East is much too close to me, much too personal for me to be sentimental about it.
Since 1952, I have owned an Israeli passport. Since I was 15 years old, I have travelled the world as a musician. I have lived in London and in Paris and I commuted for years between Chicago and Berlin.
(Continue reading: BBC News)