Kurt Masur
Photo: Sascha Gusov

German Conductor Kurt Masur died today in Greenwich, Conn., aged 88. The long-time Gewandhaus Kapellmeister, Music Director of the New York Philharmonic (1991-2002), Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (2000-2007), Chief Conductor of the Orchestre National de France (2002-2008), was born on July 18, 1927, in Brieg (Brzeg) then in the Silesian region of Germany. He has been trained for several instruments, before studying conducting.

After leading orchestras and opera companies throughout the newly formed DDR, Kurt Masur became the music director of the Komische Oper, Berlin, then of the Dresden Philharmonic, a post he held from 1967 to 1972. In 1970 he was named Kapellmeister of the Gewandhaus. He would hold that post for 26 years. Without being a member of the communist party, he became an influential musician in the former DDR. He also played an important role in the popular revolt against East German Communism, which would lead to Germany’s unification. He leaves, as a permanent legacy, well over 100 recordings with numerous orchestras.

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