Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and Palestinian intellectual Edward W. Said were awarded the annual Prince of Asturias Concord Prize in Spain for their efforts toward peace in the Middle East. Barenboim and Said received the award for establishing a youth orchestra for young Arab and Israeli musicians.
The jury took into account the men’s ‘generous and laudable work for peace and harmonious living, symbolized by a group of young musicians working together, getting over historical antagonism and adding to dialogue and reflection,’ jury Chairman Vicente Alvaro Areces said.
The annual Prince of Asturias prizes gives out eight honors for performance in the arts, sciences, diplomacy and sports. The concord prize awards exemplary and important works for brotherhood, fight against poverty, sickness, ignorance, defense of freedom and the protection of heritage. The prize also recogises ‘scientific, technological, cultural, social and human achievements by persons, parties or institutions on an international level’. There were 46 candidates from 24 countries.
Among the prize winners were British scientist Stephen Hawking (1986), the American Foundation for the Investigation of AIDS (AmFAR) (1992), the Coordinating Gesture by La Paz in Euskal Herria (1993), King Hussein of Jordan (1995), Adolph Suárez (1996), the Real Spanish Academy and the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language (2000) and the World-wide Network of Reserves of the Biosphere.