Daniel Barenboim was born in Buenos Aires in 1942 to parents of Jewish Russian descent. He started piano lessons at the age of five with his mother, continuing to study with his father who remained his only other teacher. In August 1950, when he was only seven years old, he gave his first official concert in Buenos Aires.
Important influences in his development as a musician included Artur Rubinstein and Adolf Busch, both of whom performed in Argentina. The Barenboim family moved to Israel in 1952. Two years later, in the summer of 1954, the parents brought their son to Salzburg to take part in Igor Markevich's conducting classes. During that same summer he also met Wilhelm Furtwängler, played for him and attended some of the great conductor's rehearsals and a concert. Furtwängler subsequently wrote a letter including the words "the eleven year-old Barenboim is a phenomenon ..." This phrase was to open many doors to Daniel Barenboim for a long time to come. In 1955 the young Daniel Barenboim studied harmony and composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris.
Barenboim made his debut as a pianist in Vienna and Rome in 1952, in Paris in 1955, in London in 1956 and in New York in 1957 with Leopold Stokowski and the Symphony of the Air. From then on, he made annual concert tours of the United States and Europe. He toured Australia in 1958 and soon became known as one of the most versatile pianists of his generation ... read full bio