Masur junior steps at at Boston

Masur junior steps at at Boston


norman lebrecht

January 21, 2015

In his first break as assistant conductor of the Boston Symphony, Ken-David Masur takes over the coming weekend’s concerts from flu-stricken Tugan Sokhiev.

ken-David Masur1

press release:

In his first subscription concerts as BSO Assistant Conductor, Ken-David Masur will lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a program of works by Berlioz, Saint-Saëns, and Rimsky-Korsakov, substituting at the last minute for Ossetian conductor Tugan Sokhiev who has had to withdraw from his BSO appearances due to illness; the flu and a sinus infection have prevented him from traveling to Boston this week.

Thursday, January 22, 8 p.m.
Friday, January 23, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, January 24, 8 p.m.
Ken-David Masur, conductor
Johannes Moser, cello

BERLIOZ Le Corsaire Overture
SAINT-SAËNS Cello Concerto No. 1


  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Sorry to hear about Tugan’s health crisis. He will surely be on the mend soon. But, spotlight on Ken-David, who will no doubt rise to this occasion. He is a terrific musician and maestro. Good luck to the BSO and Maestro Masur this weekend.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Lets hope he’s not a bad tempered bugger like his father

    • Daniel Farber says:

      No. Let’s hope that he is even half the musician his father was! The New York Philharmonic owes it current playing standards to Kurt Masur’s tenure. Before his arrival, the orchestra was notorious for shoddy underachievement, a collection of many star players but no sense of a team.

    • Didi says:

      I’ve worked with Ken-David before — he’s quite nice, not unpleasant at all.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    That maybe true Daniel. I’m not disputing that his father has a very strong musical personality. However, I know a former veteran prinicipal (a legend in the profession) of the London Philharmonic who reported finding him repeelent and offesnsive as did the majority of the orchestra.

    • Daniel Farber says:

      I’ll defer on this, Mark, but point out that it’s probably a good thing that, at least until very recently, orchestras have not been not organized as democracies. It seems certain that at any point along the way, the musicians in Cleveland would have voted to part company with Szell, the Chicagoans with Reiner, and so forth.

      • Nydo says:

        Actually, judging by what I have read and heard from the players in Chicago and Cleveland at the time, Szell and Reiner were very much respected as conductors by the players; the hate that was at times mixed in came from the autocratic behavior, coupled with a tendency to fire anyone that rubbed them the wrong way.
        Incidentally, the current state of the NY Philharmonic doesn’t really owe anything to Masur’s tenure. He may have cleaned up a lot of the lax ensemble that was happening under Mehta, but a lot of time has already passed since Masur left, and the main factor in any change between Mehta’s time and now is simply personnel turnover.

        • Daniel Farber says:

          Well of course, but he changed the entire culture of the orchestra, he changed its DNA, so to speak, he cured something that was sick and has now remained healthy.

  • thad says:

    Masur the Elder came to our town to conduct our orchestra in a series of performances of Bruckner’s 4th. That was about four years ago, if memory serves.

    Ask a member of the orchestra today about the experience, and they get all verklempt. Any one of them would walk through fire for the guy.

  • Paul Sullivan says:

    I attended the Jan. 22nd Performance, had a corner balcony seat overlooking the stage, and so, had a great view of the conductor and orchestra. I have to say Mr. Masur was all smiles and the smiles were returned by the BSO players. A very enjoyable concert and well received by the audience.