A conductor with autism, depression and a double mastectomy

A conductor with autism, depression and a double mastectomy


norman lebrecht

November 19, 2019

Kim Diehnelt has just become conductor of the Me2/Orchestra in Burlington, Vermont, an enseble formed in 2011  by Ronald Braunstein for musicians with mental health issues and those who care for them.

Kim is commendably up front with her own issues. The autism diagnosis four years ago, she says, was more traumatic than her recent cancer.

Read on here.



  • sorin says:

    autism is a bulshit word that has lost all meaning these days.to be accurate it never had a clear meaning or a medical definition (genes or psychiatric etc.).
    in this specific case autism probably just means unmarried to the opposite sex.

    • holy shit says:

      think what ever you want, but goodness I’m glad I don’t know you.

    • Steven Larsen says:

      Amazing. Here we are reading stories and comments about the art we love, classical music, and somebody feels compelled to crap all over it with stupid, hate-filled nonsense like this. All while hiding comfortably behind a pseudonym.

      • Bruce says:

        I wonder how such people even find Slipped Disc. They’re clearly not driven by interest in music or the arts…. although I suppose, in order to get the millions of clicks Norman is so pleased with, most of the site’s visitors must not be driven by interest in the arts either.

        It makes sense (sadly) that, every once in awhile, an outrage troll will make a quick appearance just to take a shit on the banquet table and disappear again.

        And of course, we are not sufficiently accustomed to such behavior here, so instead of ignoring the trolls, we feed them by reacting to them. Oh well.

        • Chris says:

          Bruce – “most of the site’s visitors must not be driven by interest in the arts…”
          As a regular contributor to this forum, and as a former professional violinist of over 40 years’ experience, I take grave exception to your generalisation.

      • sorin says:

        As a matter of fact ,I am an Israeli living near tel aviv aged 54 & providing an e-mail is mandatory for commenting on this site and it is fully known to the owner of this site.No prob giving you my e-mail and on request full details.Just point out your e-mail and I will gladly assist you in identifying me.

  • Bruce says:

    Great story.

  • Emily says:

    It’s weird and sad that there’s still such a stigma against autism that people consider an autism diagnosis traumatic or tragic.
    As a fellow musician finally diagnosed with autism as an adult, I think I understand what she’s saying here, why it was traumatic for her – going through life not knowing you’re autistic, and wondering why you have challenges with things that seem easy to other people, is really rough.
    For me, an autism diagnosis gave me answers to why I am the way I am, and made me understand myself, and life in general, so much more.
    Autism isn’t an error or a tragedy, it’s just a difference.