Daniel Barenboim to extend Berlin Opera contract

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Daniel Barenboim, the Argentinian-Israeli pianist and conductor, is to extend his contract as music director of the Berlin State Opera, city officials said Thursday.

His current contract runs out in July of next year.

City officials did not specify for how long Barenboim would renew his contract, saying this would be made public at a signing ceremony on Wednesday.

In 2000, Barenboim, now aged 68, was made a life member of the Berlin State Opera.

A tireless campaigner for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Barenboim conducted an orchestra of top European musicians at a special concert in Gaza in May.

The British embassy in Berlin recently announced he was to receive a knighthood for his work toward reconciliation in the Middle East through music.

Barenboim will become an honorary Knight Commander of the most excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) but he will not receive a "Sir" title -- an honour reserved for Britons.

© 2011 AFP

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