Prayer time: Sir Peter Jonas is battling cancer

Prayer time: Sir Peter Jonas is battling cancer


norman lebrecht

August 03, 2018

The Munich Abendzeitung reports that Peter is in hospital with ‘a large fast growing, malignant carcinoma.’

He has sent a round-robin to friends and has asked for it to be made public in order to quash the rumour-mill. Peter writes:

‘Two weeks ago I fell ill and was admitted as an emergency to the University Clinic ‘Rechts der Isar’ in Munich. The diagnosis is now confirmed: a large fast growing, malignant carcinoma in my chest (on the site of my first HD Lymphoma of 1976 !) and a smaller further tumour above my hip.

‘Chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery and, possibly, radiation are all being planned and will start immediately in Rechts der Isar with the first surgery on Monday 6th August . So, please, understand if I am not as communicative as usual. If you do not hear from me it only means that I am fighting as, immodestly even greedily, I do not want my already expiring lease on life here on this crazy earth of ours to end….just yet!’

The former director of English National Opera and Bavarian State Opera was first diagnosed with cancer of the eye when he was in his early twenties and was given months to live. He survived that bout, and several more. Let’s keep willing him to make it through again.

Peter, 72, has friends everywhere. Prayers and good wishes are in order.


  • DESR says:

    A great man! Hope the treatment goes well.

  • Helene Kamioner says:

    My heart is filled with pain at this news and my soul reaches up to the Highest One for Sir Peter’s quick healing and recovery. I am so grateful to Sir Peter for the best years of my life.

    May the one who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, bless and heal those who are ill especially Sir Peter Jonas.. May the Blessed Holy One be filled with compassion for their health to be restored and their strength to be revived. May God swiftly send them a complete renewal of body and spirit, and let us say, Amen.

    Sir Peter know that you are loved.

  • Sue says:

    A good friend of the late Carlos Kleiber!! I do hope he recovers quickly and gets about the business of music as soon as he can.

  • James T. Leak says:

    I made friends with Sir Peter in Chicago before he had his first bout of Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1976. I cannot think of anyone who has responded with more courage and humor to such outrageous health challenges–or who has accomplished so much while fighting such battles. This man is an inspiration.

  • Keith Miller says:

    I don’t know if he would remember me. I first met Sir Peter in 1979 when I joined the staff at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall working for Sarah Zelzer. He was the assistant to Sir Georg Solti and then later became the Artistic Administrator for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

    Sir Peter was always kind to me and taught me a good many things about working with artists. If I ever strayed down the wrong path, he’d straighten me out. I truly admired him. I know he beat cancer once before. I’m hoping and praying he beats it again.

    Get well quickly Sir Peter!