'Music Is Society' presents documentation of the 2012 pilot program for the West-Eastern Divan Institute, a site which will engage creative minds through the integration of a world-class musical training with a broader education in history, politics, ethics, and peace studies. The Berlin (Germany) institute will complement the world-renowned West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and the music schools in Israel and Palestine, projects envisioned and created by Maestro Daniel Barenboim and Dr. Edward Said.
Questions facing the designers include:
- How to successfully integrate music and general education without compromising the acquired-skills of the musicians.
- How to acknowledge and cultivate multiple points of view without obscuring historical and contemporary political realities.
- How to create an innovative, permanent, self-sustaining institution out of educational theory and public interest.
- How to officially address the Israel-Palestinian conflict. How to question the occupation of Palestinian land, including settlements and the up-and-coming arrogation of Area C, in a culture which feels deeply responsible for the Holocaust.
- How to make the case for the Humanities in a recession-weary world.
Many thanks to Professor Michael Steinberg and the Cogut Center for the Humanities.
-Dylan K. Nelson May 16, 2012