MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas is stepping down as artistic director of the New World Symphony after 34 seasons with the orchestra, wanting to reduce administrative responsibilities as he faces a tumor in the brain.
The 77-year-old was operated on last August for the tumour. Since then he has conducted 20 concerts with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony.
“Making music with these great artists and for so many friends in the audience was like coming home, like coming back to life. I couldn’t have been happier,” he said. wrote in a letter to friends he made public on Wednesday.
“It takes strength to meet the demands of music and to collaborate at the highest level with the remarkable musicians who have so generously welcomed me. I see now that it is time for me to reflect on the level of work and responsibilities that I can handle in the future. »
Tilson Thomas said he was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive tumor.
“Currently, the cancer is in check. But the future is uncertain because glioblastoma is a stealthy adversary. Its recurrence is unfortunately the rule rather than the exception,” he wrote. “I am taking stock of my life and I will reduce my administrative responsibilities.
Tilson Thomas will become the New World Orchestra’s award-winning artistic director and intends to work with fellows and orchestra alumni on projects. He did not give a specific date for the changes.
“I look forward to my work for the remainder of this season with orchestras in the United States and Europe and the many musical collaborations planned for next season,” Tilson Thomas wrote. “I intend to stick around for a bit. Creating and collaborating to make great music is what matters to me. Every moment on stage with my colleagues is memorable.
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.