By Paul Colsey, CNN July 27, 2011 -- Updated 1240 GMT
(CNN) -- The Israel Chamber Orchestra performed works of Adolf Hitler's favorite composer Richard Wagner in Germany on Tuesday in the composer's home town of Bayreuth.Israeli orchestras have held back from performing Wagner's music in the past because of its use in Nazi propaganda during World War II . The 19th century composer was known for his anti Semitic views and performances of his music in Israel are considered insensitive to survivors of the Holocaust and many other Israelis.
Conductor of the orchestra Roberto Paternostro said on Israeli TV it was time to separate Wagner's world view from his music. "He was a great composer and the aim in the year 2011 is to divide the man from his art," he said.
This was the first time an Israeli orchestra played Wagner in Germany.
Uri Hanok head of the Holocaust Survivors Union to Prevent the Playing of Wagner, told CNN, "When I heard that an Israeli orchestra was to play Wagner in Germany I could not sleep. Wagner despised Jews, it was evident in all his writings. While there are still survivors alive, his music should not be played in Israel and certainly not by an Israeli orchestra."
Paternostro said at a news conference, "There wasn't a moment when I had any doubts about this project it was my greatest conviction to bring these two sides Israel and Wagner together." Paternostros mother and other relatives were Holocaust survivors. "I know that in Israel this is not accepted, but many people have told me its time we confront Wagner especially those in the younger generation" the conductor said.
Israel's state owned TV and radio still keep Wagner off the air. In 2001 the world renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim angered many Israelis when he played Wagner's music in Israel.
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