Kurt Masur would have been 90 today

As we toast this month’s nonagenarian maestros Herbert Blomstedt and Michael Gielen, let’s not forget their formidable contemporary Kurt Masur, who died of the effects of Parkinsons in December 2015.

Kurt would have been 90 today. He’s in our thoughts, warmly missed.

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  • I thought he changed the sound of the Philharmonic for the worse; got it off track. But I wonder what the consensus is on his time in NY.

    • I felt the orchestra was better disciplined at the expense of spontaneity under Masur. Orchestra didn’t sound like it was asleep as it sometimes could be as under the previous administration. One of the best concerts i heard was after he left the orchestra with a trumpet/trombone concerto and a really great Brahms 1.

  • An exceptional Bach conductor, particularly of the choral works. As a long-time NYP subscriber, I recall one performance in particular that sent chills down my spine, viz., the St. Matthew Passion performed on 22 March 2008 (Holy Saturday). At that point Masur was serving as the NYP Music Director Emeritus. The convergence of Masur’s Bach interpretation and the liturgical feast day resulted in a splendid concert, one that was greeted with a seven-minute standing, cheering, foot-stomping ovation. Absolutely memorable..


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