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His first important conducting job was with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra with whom he worked from 1955 – 1958 and again from 1967 to 1972. He also worked with the Komische Oper of East Berlin. From 1970 – 1996 he was the Kapellmeister (musical director) of the famous Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
Dresden and Leipzig both lie in what used to be the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). For years Masur worked faithfully for the communist leaders of that country. When the political situation started to change in 1989 he helped to keep the demonstrations peaceful by talking to the politicians and the people and stop them from fighting.
In 1991 Masur became music director of the New York Philharmonic. He stayed there for over a decade, helping to make them one of the world’s finest orchestras.
From 2000 to 2007 Masur was principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra,. In April 2002, Masur became music director of the Orchestre National de France. He will leave this job in 2008 when Daniele Gatti will take over.
Masur has been married three times. His first wife, with whom he had a daughter, died in 1972 in a car accident where Masur himself was badly injured. He now lives with his third wife, Tomoko. They have a son, Ken, who has also become a conductor.
- The Independent, Sat 28 April 2012 p.35
- Kurt Masur official website