The Argentine-Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim (who also has Spanish nationality) announced on Tuesday that he suffers from a “serious neurological disease” and that he will withdraw from part of his activities in the coming months. “It is with a combination of pride and sadness that I announce that I am stepping away from some of my acting activities, especially directing, for the next several months,” he said in a statement posted on his social media. “My health has deteriorated in recent months and I have been diagnosed with a serious neurological disease,” announced Barenboim, 79. “Now I have to concentrate on my physical well-being as much as possible,” he added.
Barenboim had already had to cancel several commitments in February and April due to health problems. He is also the music director of the Berlin State Opera and its orchestra, the Staatskapelle, for three decades and has a contract until 2027. Earlier this year, he conducted the New Year’s Concert at the Vienna Musikverein. “Music has always been and continues to be an essential and enduring part of my life,” he noted in his statement. “I have lived my entire life in and through music, and will continue to do so for as long as my health allows. Looking back and forward, I am not only happy, but deeply satisfied.”
Born in Argentina in 1942, Barenboim made his international debut as a pianist at the age of ten, before becoming a noted conductor. He has also created a foundation and an orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan, to promote cooperation between young musicians from Israel and Arab countries.
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