Michael Tilson Thomas recovering from surgery for brain tumor

Fri Aug 06, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Photo: SFS

Michael Tilson Thomas is recovering from surgery related to a brain tumor, it was announced Friday.

A brief statement from his publicist said that Tilson Thomas was diagnosed with a tumor “that required an immediate operation.” The operation at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center—presumably recent—was “successful” and the 76-year-old conductor has embarked on an extended course of therapy that necessitates curtailing his public appearances through the end of October.

That includes withdrawing from the Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary Celebration concert with the National Symphony Orchestra on September 14. The popular guest conductor was to lead a program echoing “An American Pageant for the Arts,” the 1962 event conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

“I deeply regret missing projects that I was greatly anticipating,” said Tilson Thomas. “I look forward to seeing everyone again in November.”

The National Symphony Orchestra has not yet announced a replacement for the September 14 concert, featuring guest artists including Renée Fleming and Ben Folds, among others.

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