Barenboim’s health forces ‘a step back’

Daniel Barenboim, the 79-year-old pianist and conductor of the Berlin State Opera and its orchestra, Staatskapelle Berlin, and the East-West Divan Orchestra of Israelis and Arabs, has canceled performances, among them a Berlin production of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, due to ill health.

The Guardian’s Imogen Tilden quotes a social-media post from Barenboim: “I am taking a step back from some of my performing activities, especially conducting engagements, for the coming months. My health has deteriorated over the last months, and I have been diagnosed with a serious neurological condition. I must now focus on my physical wellbeing as much as possible.”

Barenboim’s withdrawal follows news in recent months that conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, 77, is cutting back on performances as he battles brain cancer, and that heart trouble led pianist Maurizio Pollini, 80, to cancel some concert engagements.

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