Symphony Conductor. Masur was born in Brieg, Lower Silesia, Germany, which is now Opole Voivodeship (Province) in Poland. He studied composition, keyboard, and conducting at the Music College of Leipzig. In 1955 he was appointed as conductor of the Dresden (East Germany) Philharmonic. He also was music director of the Komische Oper of East Berlin. In 1970, he spent 26 years as music director of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. When Germany was reunited on Oct. 3, 1990, he conducted Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy) as part of the official celebration. In 1991, he became music director of the New York Philharmonic. While at that post, he would lead the Philharmonic in a performance of Brahms's "German Requiem" following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He stepped down as music director in 2002. He was married 3 times. He divorced his first wife. He and his second wife, Irmgard Masur, were involved in an 1972 auto accident, where he was severely injured and she was killed. That marriage produced a daughter Carolin. His third marriage was to the former Tomoko Sakurai. His son by Tomoko, Ken-David Masur, is an accomplished opera singer and conductor in his own right. He was a lifetime Honorary Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. After a series of cancellations of concert engagements in 2012, he announced that he had Parkinson's Disease. He died at his home in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Bio by: Christian