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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Brieg, Silesia, Germany [now Brzeg, Opolskie, Poland]
Died in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA  (Parkinson's disease)
Height 6' 3" (1.91 m)

Mini Bio (1)

One of the most respected and admired artists of his generation, Kurt Masur is a regular guest conductor with the foremost orchestras of North America and Europe.

Born in Brieg (Silesia) in 1927, Kurt Masur studied piano, composition and conducting at the Leipzig Conservatory. In 1955, he had his first important engagement conducting the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1970 to 1996, he was Music Director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, a post occupied in the past by such prestigious personalities as F Felix Mendelssohn, Arthur Nikisch, Wilhem Furtwängler and Bruno Walter. When he resigned his functions in 1996, the Gewandhaus Orchestra awarded him, for the first time of its history, the honorary title of Conductor Emeritus. In 1989, the key role he played in the pacifist demonstrations that led to the reunification of Germany brought him worldwide attention.

His close and intensive collaboration with the New-York Philharmonic Orchestra, whose Music Director he was from 1991 to 2002, was remarkable for its constant high standards of quality. Under his direction the New-York Philharmonic successfully launched many new initiatives, including the restoration of nationwide radio broadcasts of its concerts in the USA, and the creation of its own CD label, whose releases have won many awards. At the end of his period of service, Kurt Masur was the first music director in the orchestra's history to receive the title of Music Director Emeritus. In September 2000, he also took on the post of Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In September 2002, Masur became Director of the Orchestre National de France. Among the notable events of his first season were the complete symphonies of Beethoven, the French premiere of Wynton Marsalis's All Rise with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, a Mendelssohn cycle, and two foreign tours, first to Hong Kong for 3 concerts in the International Arts Festival, and then to central and northern Europe.

Among the many honors he has received are the Gold Medal for Music of the National Arts Club (1996), the grade of Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur from the French government, the title of Cultural Ambassador for New-York City (1997), and the Starry Cross of the Order of Merit of the German Federal Republic (2002). Since 1992 he has been Honorary Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He has taught at the Leipzig Academy of Music since 1975. Kurt Masur has made more than a hundred recordings with many orchestra. In 1998 he celebrated fifty years as a professional conductor.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: anonymous

Spouse (3)

Tomoko Sakurai (1975 - 19 December 2015) ( his death) ( 1 child)
Irrmgard Elsa Kaul (1971 - 1972) ( her death) ( 1 child)
Brigitte Stütze (? - 1966) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Trivia (4)

Conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1991 to 2002.
He was conductor of the Orchestre National de France. from 2002 to 2008.
He was Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra from 1970 to 1996.
Music director emeritus of the New York Philharmonic.

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