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Daniel Barenboim's New York Anniversary / The New Yorker

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Daniel Barenboim, the matchless Argentine-Israeli pianist (his two Mozart-concerto cycles remain references), conductor, activist (the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which he founded with the late Edward Said, bringing together Israeli and Palestinian musicians, is now in its seventeenth year), and general bon vivant (his taste for cigars led him to meet with a reporter at a cigar club opposite Carnegie Hall), came to town last week, for the sixtieth anniversary of his first appearance in New York City. Since he was only fourteen then, this dates him less than it might seem. "Of course, I remember every moment of it," he said, sipping pineapple juice in the cigar club. He had politely declined a smoke after contemplating the club's menu, still lamentably short on Cubans. ("Itzhak Perlman," he said, "used to buy Cubans in Toronto and bring them to me in his crutches.")