Famed New York Philharmonic conductor Kurt Masur dies at 88

(New York, United States) - Conductor Kurt Masur, who helped bring a worldwide reputation to the New York Philharmonic while seizing on music's power on historical occasions, died Saturday.

See Full Article

He was 88.

The New York Philharmonic announced the death of Masur, one of its longest-serving music directors who led the orchestra from 1991 to 2002.

A German born in what is today Poland, Masur was an unlikely choice to lead one of the New World's leading orchestras as he had spent his career -- both musically and politically -- within the confines of communist East Germany and was closely focused on the classical canon.

But Masur won wide praise for polishing the musical bona fides of the New York Philharmonic and raising its global profile with 17 tours around the world including a first trip to mainland China, now a key country for the orchestra's overseas activities.

"Masur's years at the New York Philharmonic represent one of its golden eras, in which music-making was infused with commitment and devotion -- with the belief in the power of music to bring humanity closer together," Alan Gilbert, the outgoing music director, said in a statement.

"The ethical and moral dimensions that he brought to his conducting are still palpable in the musicians' playing, and I, along with the Philharmonic's audiences, have much to thank him for," he said.

Masur was hailed for mastering the moment after the September 11, 2001 attacks scarred New York by leading the Philharmonic in Brahms' "German Requiem" in a nationally televised memorial service.

Masur was similarly credited with feeling the sense of history in 1989 shortly before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Then the conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and a loyal East German, Masur went on the radio in October that year ahead of a concert to urge calm as protesters amassed.

The troops did not open fire and Masur's performance went ahead, helping set the graceful, non-violent tone of German reunification.

But Masur's strict style did not always win him friends among the musicians and administration, and he later said that his departure from the New York Philharmonic was not voluntary.

He was given the title of music director emeritus and took two prominent positions in the European classical world -- music director of the Orchestre National de France and principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Actress Erin Moran of Happy Days fame dead at 56

    Entertainment CBC News
    Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi, died Saturday at age 56. A statement from the sheriff's department in Harrison County, Ind., said the dispatcher "received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Source
  • 'Happy Days' star Erin Moran dies

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms “Happy Days” and “Joanie Loves Chachi,” died Saturday at age 56. A statement from the sheriff’s department in Harrison County, Indiana, said the dispatcher “received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Source
  • Erin Moran, Joanie in 'Happy Days,' dies at 56

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Erin Moran, the former child star who played Joanie Cunningham in the sitcoms "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi," died Saturday at age 56. A statement from the sheriff's department in Harrison County, Indiana, said the dispatcher "received a 911 call about an unresponsive female. Source
  • Bruce Springsteen surprises fans at film festival

    Entertainment CTV News
    Steven Van Zandt, left, Southside Johnny, and Bruce Springsteen perform at The Asbury Park Music And Film Festival at The Paramount Theater on Friday, April 21, 2017, in Asbury Park, NJ. (Photo by Michael Zorn / Invision / AP) Source
  • Coachella 2017: The music, fashion and parties

    Entertainment CBC News
    COMEDY Comic Charlie Murphy, brother of Eddie Murphy, dead at 57 Source
  • 'Avengers: Infinity War' will be 'exactly what the fans want': Chris Pratt [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 won’t hit theatres until next month, but Chris Pratt is already teasing big things for his intergalactic band of misfits when they return in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Source
  • Ex-nanny says Scary Spice got her drunk for three-way with husband

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Mel B’s ex-nanny has accused the former Spice Girl of plying her with alcohol when she was an 18-year-old student and encouraging the young woman to have sex with her and her husband. The new allegations appear in a defamation suit filed by Lorraine Gilles, who claims the Wannabe singer, who is now an international TV personality, seduced her when she was a teenager and is now trying to suggest Gilles is “a homewrecker, prostitute, and extortionist,” amid her divorce from Stephen…
  • 'Avatar' sequels get release dates

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — James Cameron has set the release dates for the next four Avatar sequels, with the first coming in 2020. The movie’s Facebook page Saturday posted a photo of Cameron and his massive film crew, who have been working on all four films simultaneously. Source
  • 'Avengers: Infinity War' will be 'exactly what the fans want': Chris Pratt

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 won’t hit theatres until next month, but Chris Pratt is already teasing big things for his intergalactic band of misfits when they return in next year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Source
  • Ex-Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger in talks for 'Wicked' film: Report

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger is reportedly in top secret talks to take on the role of Elphaba in the movie adaptation of magical musical Wicked. The Moana star, who stunned theatre critics with her West End debut in Cats, is among the frontrunners to play the role originated on Broadway in 2003 by Idina Menzel, according to The Sun. Source