Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires in 1942. He received his first piano lessons from his mother at age five, until now, his father is still his only piano teacher. At the age of seven he gave his first public concert in Buenos Aires. In 1952, he and his parents moved to Israel.
At age ten, Daniel Barenboim gave his international debut performance as a solo pianist in Vienna and Rome. At age eleven, Daniel Barenboim took part in conducting classes in Salzburg under Igor Markevich. In the summer of 1954, he also met Wilhelm Furtwängler and played for him. Furtwängler then wrote, “The eleven-year-old Daniel Barenboim is a phenomenon.”
Ever since his conducting debut in 1967 in London with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim has been in great demand with leading orchestras around the world. Between 1975 and 1989, he was principal conductor of the Orchestre de Paris, where he often performed contemporary works by composers such as Lutoslawski, Berio, Boulez, Henze, Dutilleux, and Takemitsu and others.
Daniel Barenboim gave his debut as an opera conductor at the Edinburgh Festival in 1973 with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. In 1981, he conducted for the first time in Bayreuth, where he would conduct every summer for the next eighteen years, until 1999. During this time, he conducted Tristan und Isolde, Ring des Nibelungen, Parsifal, and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Between 1991 and June 2006, Daniel Barenboim held the position of Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2006 the musicians of the orchestra named him Honorary Conductor for Life. Since 1992, Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where he was also artistic director from 1992 to August 2002. In 2000, the Staatskapelle Berlin appointed him Principal Conductor for Life.