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Daniel Barenboim Conducts Arab-Israeli Orchestra for Pope

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Jul 13, 2012 09:22 AM EDT

Argentine conductor Daniel Barenboim directs Beethoven's ninth symphony in honor of Pope Benedict XVI

Argentine conductor Daniel Barenboim directs Beethoven's ninth symphony in honor of Pope Benedict XVI (Photo : Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his name day with a concert of Beethoven symphonies led by Daniel Barenboim on Wednesday.

The maestro led the West-Eastern Divan, a youth orchestra made up of Israeli and Arab musicians, at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.

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Benedict said in a speech, "Music unites people beyond every division."

The concert was also attended by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and his wife.

The Argentine-born Israeli conductor founded the orchestra in 1999 with the late Palestinian-American academic Edward Said.

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