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kurt masur


German conductor Kurt Masur, who led the New York Philharmonic orchestra, has died at the age of 88.

New York Philharmonic President Matthew VanBesien said Masur had “left a legacy that lives on today”.

Kurt Masur was music director of the philharmonic from 1991-2002 and is credited with reinvigorating it.

Prior to that, Kurt Masur led the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra in eastern Germany for 26 years.Kurt Masur dead at 88

In the celebrations marking the reunification of Germany on October 3, 1990, Kurt Masur directed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

As the East German regime collapsed in the 1980s, Kurt Masur was credited with using his influence to help prevent a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Many thought he should become East Germany’s first post-Communist leader but instead he moved to the US.

Kurt Masur’s death on December 19 was announced by the New York Philharmonic.

“It is with the deepest sadness that I write on behalf of the Masur family and the New York Philharmonic that Kurt Masur – our inspiring music director, 1991-2002, and music director emeritus – passed away,” Matthew VanBesien said.


Kurt Masur, the former principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) is recovering in hospital after falling off the stage at a concert in Paris.

Kurt Masur, 84, lost his balance while conducting the National Orchestra of France on Thursday night.

According to the orchestra’s website, Kurt Masur is expected to be released soon.

France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has sent his best wishes to the German-born conductor, calling him a “legendary musician”.

Kurt Masur served as the principal conductor of the London Philharmonic between 2000 and 2007, after which he became honorary musical director at the Paris-based National Orchestra of France.

He celebrated his 80th birthday at the Proms in 2007 by leading both orchestras in Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings and Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony.

Kurt Masur, 84, lost his balance while conducting the National Orchestra of France on Thursday night

Kurt Masur, 84, lost his balance while conducting the National Orchestra of France on Thursday night

The London Philharmonic said the orchestra was “very concerned” to hear about his accident and wished Kurt Masur “a speedy and full recovery”.

“During his legendary tenure as Principal Conductor, his concerts were always occasions of incredibly high quality music-making,” it said.

Prior to Thursday’s accident, Kurt Masur had been conducting Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony and Shostakovich’s Symphony No 1.

A spokeswoman said he fell backwards some 1.5 metres into the front row of the audience at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees.

Kurt Masur was not found to have suffered any serious injuries.

“After a reassuring in-depth examination, [Kurt Masur] is resting in hospital,” the orchestra said in a statement. “He took a few steps this morning and is expected to leave hospital soon.”

Born in 1927 in what was then the German province of Silesia – now Brzeg in Poland – Kurt Masur studied piano and cello before becoming a conductor.

Kurt Masur served as conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra from 1955 to 1958 and again from 1967 to 1972.

In 1970 he was appointed music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, a position he held for 26 years before being named the orchestra’s first conductor laureate.

While there Kurt Masur played a central role in the peaceful protests in Leipzig that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and attracted worldwide attention for the impact of his leadership.

He later moved to the US, where he became music director of the New York Philharmonic in 1991.

Kurt masur’s accolades include the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, awarded in 1995, and his being named Commander of the Legion of Honour in France in 1997.

That rank was upgraded to Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour 10 years later.

In his statement, President Sarkozy praised Kurt Masur for his “historic role” in reconciling East and West Germany.