June 2, 2002
MASUR NAMED MUSIC DIRECTOR EMERITUS
NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Philharmonic named Kurt Masur music director emeritus, making him the only person other than Leonard Bernstein to receive an honorary title from the symphony.
Masur, 74, was presented the title Saturday at Avery Fisher Hall during his final subscription concert as music director of the philharmonic.
Bernstein was named laureate conductor in May 1969.
The honorary title was bestowed upon Masur by Board Chairman Paul B. Guenther on Wednesday, the organization said. Masur's 11-year tenure as music director ends this summer.
Guenther said that under Masur's direction, the symphony "has flourished, reaching incredible levels of musicianship and artistic spirit. His mark on the orchestra is profound, and he leaves an extraordinary legacy that has infused us with strength and vitality."
Masur made his New York Philharmonic debut in 1981, and became music director 10 years later. Under his guidance, the Philharmonic launched a number of successful initiatives, including a return to live, national radio broadcasts and the creation of the orchestra's own recording label.
After his contract is up, Masur will become music director of the Orchestre National de France. Lorin Maazel, director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, will succeed him in New York.