Kurt Masur, widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest conductors, passed away on 19 December 2015 in the United States. He died from complications of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 88.
Known as one of the last old-style maestros, Masur was best known for serving as the music director of the New York Philharmonic (NYP) from 1991-2002. In that capacity, he led the Philharmonic in a performance of Brahms’s Deutsches Requiem in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks.
Originally from East Germany, Masur was credited with helping prevent violence after the fall of communism in 1989. When Germany was reunited in 1990, he directed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the official celebrations.
In 2000, Masur became principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) and held the position until 2007. In April 2002, he became music director of the Orchestre National de France (ONF) and served the post until 2008.
In 2012, Masur disclosed on his website that he had Parkinson’s Disease.