Conductor Daniel Barenboim receives honorary knighthood

image captionBarenboim accepted honorary Palestinian citizenship in 2008

Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim has received an honorary knighthood for his work towards reconciliation in the Middle East through music.

The 68-year-old received the KBE - the highest honour for foreign citizens - from the British ambassador to Berlin at a gala dinner in the German capital.

Barenboim was praised for his tireless campaigning for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Last month, he led an orchestra in a "peace concert" in Gaza.

"Daniel Barenboim is a staunch advocate of the unifying power of music," British ambassador Simon McDonald said.

"He certainly has become an inspirational figure, not least of all for the next generation of musicians."

The conductor said he was "deeply touched" by the honour, adding that time he had spent in Britain had been "of formative importance until this very day".

Barenboim accepted honorary Palestinian citizenship in 2008 and co-founded an ensemble made up of young Arab and Israeli musicians, known as the West-Eastern Divan orchestra, in 1999.

In 2005, it performed in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

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