Kurt Masur, the music director emeritus of the New York Philharmonic, who was credited with transforming the orchestra from a sullen, lackluster ensemble into one of luminous renown, died on Saturday in Greenwich, Conn. He was 88.
The death, from complications of Parkinson’s disease, was announced by the Philharmonic, which said it would dedicate its Saturday night performance of Handel’s “Messiah” to Mr. Masur’s memory.
Mr. Masur (pronounced mah-ZOOR) was the Philharmonic’s music director from 1991 to 2002. When he took its helm, the orchestra was roundly considered to be a world-class ensemble in name only, its playing grown slipshod, its players fractious and discontented, its recording contracts unrenewed.
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