November 8, 2004
MASUR RE-UPS IN PARIS
by Frank Cadenhead
PARIS -- Kurt Masur has extended his stay as music director of the Orchestre National de France for an additional three years, the orchestra announced today. The 77-year-old conductor, who initially signed on in 2002, will now keep the post through the end of the 2008 season, according to Jean-Paul Cluzel, president-director general of Radio France, under whose auspices the orchestra resides.
Masur left the New York Philharmonic after 11 years as music director in 2002, the result of an unfortunate power struggle. In Paris, his Brahms and Mendelssohn cycles have been among the hottest tickets to come by, with many of the concerts broadcast live, on Radio France’s classical station, France Musiques.
Prior to the Philharmonic, Masur was music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (from 1970 until 1996), a podium from which he earned celebrity status by siding with those in Eastern Germany who protested the Communist regime before its collapse.
Also principal conductor of the London Philharmonic, Masur is president of the Mendelssohn Foundation and, since July 2004, president of the Beethoven House in Bonn.