Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan orchestra have cancelled concerts planned for Egypt on 10 January and Qatar on 12 January, citing security risks as the conflict in Gaza continues. It's not clear from the reports I have seen so far whether this was the organisers' choice or the orchestra's (the musicians, who are mostly Arab or Israeli, have some say on the issue of performance locations).
Barenboim said that he and the orchestra were “sad and appalled” about the situation in Gaza.
“We are not a political organization, and we have never had political goals. But as you can imagine, we have all been deeply affected by the events of recent days.” Barenboim said a late change of plan enabled him to replace the canceled performances with a concert at the Staatsoper.
“Our orchestra has been flatteringly described as an orchestra for peace. It isn’t. Peace calls for different measures. But perhaps it is a model. The fact is that even during this war, our members want to come together and make music with their enemies. I don’t despair. If I did, I would not be here, and we would not be performing. I do despair of the short-sightedness of those who think there is a military solution to this problem.’’
The hastily-organised Berlin Staatsoper replacement concert at 8pm on 12 January sold out so quickly that a second show has been arranged for 11pm. Tickets available here (available in all price categories at the time of writing).
Best of luck to whichever hero is sorting out travel, accommodation and assorted red tape for a full orchestra at six days' notice.