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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kurt Masur Suffers Eye Infection: Will Still Conduct

Kurt Masur. Photo by Chris Lee  2009 The New York Philharmonic.

The return of Kurt Masur to the podium of Avery Fisher Hall is always something to look forward to each season at the New York Philharmonic. But this week, the onset of an eye infection has caused a slight change in the conducting arrangements for this week's concert.

In a press release, the New York Philharmonic explained that, due to his condition, the 83-year old German conductor cannot, at present, sight-read the score of Ms Gubudilina's composition. Philharmonic assistant conductor Daniel Boico will step in and conduct the work at this week's concerts.

Premiered in 1999, Two Paths is a work for two solo violas and orchestra. It was originally commissioned by the composer's wife, Tomoko Masur. The piece features Philharmonic principal violists Cynthia Phelps and Rebecca Young.

Despite this setback, Mr. Masur will be able to conduct the remainder of the program, which includes the Franz Liszt tone poem Les Préludes and the First Symphony by Johannes Brahms. Mr. Masur has those pieces committed to memory, and will not need the sheet music.

The concerts are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday at Avery Fisher Hall. An additional concert is planned for Friday night at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Prudential Hall, in Newark, New Jersey.

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