The Berlin-based conductor Daniel Barenboim is returning prizes he has won at Germany's biggest music awards in a row over what he said were "clearly anti-Semitic" rap lyrics.
The Israeli said he was protesting against an Echo Music Award being given to the German rappers Kollegah and Farid Bang this year.
On one track they sing that their bodies are "more defined than an Auschwitz prisoner".
In a statement, Mr Barenboim, who is also the general music director of the Berlin State Opera and the Staatskapelle Berlin, described the rappers' lyrics as "clearly anti-Semitic, misogynist, homophobic and contemptuous of human dignity".
"Decency and humanity" must outweigh "commercial interests", he said, explaining his move to return Echo Music Awards that he has won.
Mr Barenboim, who accepted honorary Palestinian citizenship in 2008, has famously set up an orchestra made up of young Arab and Israeli musicians, known as the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.
The orchestra has performed in the West Band and the Gaza Strip.
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