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Masur And Levine On Parkinson’s, Animating Wild Things And Shattering A Stereotype

by ANASTASIA TSIOULCAS, www.npr.org/blogs

New York Philharmonic Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur, 85, has announced that he has been living with Parkinson’s disease for several years: “I have had the fortune of receiving great medical care since the diagnosis, enabling me to continue my conducting activities. These recent events have served as a goodopportunity to make a return to the podium with a greater sense of purpose and awareness.”

And after a two-year absence, James Levine plans to return to the Met to conduct a May 2013 performance by the orchestra at Carnegie Hall and then three productions at the Met Opera in 2013-14, saying: “It’s miraculous for me.” The New York Times reports, “He remains unable to walk because of … spinal damage and acknowledged what many had suspected for a while: He has a nonprogressive condition related to Parkinson’s disease that causes hand tremors, which his doctors called ‘benign Parkinsonism.’ Mr. Levine said he would conduct from a motorized wheelchair that he uses. Met technicians are devising a podium that mechanically rises and falls, like an elevator, for Carnegie Hall and the Met pit.” Read the rest of the article here.

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