Daniel Barenboim and the American-Palestinian literary scholar Edward W. Said founded the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Weimar, Germany in 1999 with a mission to unite young Arab and Israeli musicians. Founded in the spirit of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, the Barenboim-Said Akademie seeks to unite talented, young musicians from the Middle East, North Africa, and around the world to study at the center of an historic city. Inspired equally by its namesakes, the Akademie’s unique curriculum integrates intensive music performance studies with a grounding in the humanities.


As soloists, chamber musicians, recording artists, and coaches, faculty at the Barenboim-Said Akademie are internationally-renowned performers and experienced pedagogues. Among their many affiliations are orchestras such as the Berlin Staatskapelle, the Berlin Philharmoniker, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bayreuther Festspielorchester, the NHK Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, and others.

Apply & Audition

The Barenboim-Said Akademie welcomes students from all backgrounds and experiences. Admissions at the Akademie is committed to building a talented, diverse ensemble of up to ninety young musicians from the Middle East, North Africa, and around the world.


The Akademie houses a unique concert hall, designed by Frank Gehry and named after the great composer, conductor and music theorist Pierre Boulez. The Pierre Boulez Saal is a place where creation and education meet. It is where the ideal of the Barenboim-Said Akademie, education through music, will find resonance. While providing a space for students and faculty to perform, the hall will also host conferences and academic events. The Pierre Boulez Saal is an essential part of the Akademie, serving the students as a space to develop themselves further, under the guidance of professional artists and mentors, through performance and study.


Visit « The Sound of Utopia », an exhibition currently on display at the Barenboim-Said Akademie, and be among the first to explore the Akademie's newly-finished building. The exhibition tells the remarkable history of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which has become a living symbol of peace in the Middle East.