The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Maazel prepares for Castleton, leaves Munich

Recent announcements that Lorin Maazel was suffering from ill-health and was cancelling all of his appearances this summer have somewhat overstated the mark. Maazel has recovered from what his wife, Dietlinde Turban-Maazel, described in a statement as “a case of complete exhaustion brought on by a daunting conducting and travel schedule. He is at his home in Rappahannock County, Virginia, preparing for the Castleton Festival, which begins on June 28, and has led conducting master classes with 15 conductors all this week.

However Maazel, 84, appears to have taken his recent health difficulties as a wake-up call, and today announced his resignation from another current post; effective immediately, he is withdrawing from the music directorship of the Munich Philharmonic, and suspending many of his planned activities for the 2014-15 season.

“I would like to thank the literally millions of fans who have, upon hearing of some of my health difficulties I have experienced recently, redoubled requests of my services as conductor, such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, London’s Philharmonia et al,” he said today in a statement.

“I believe I have always acted as a responsible professional person,” he continued, “and have been encouraged by my doctors that I should be fit as a conductor to take up my duties starting the Season following 2014/15, which does not exclude occasional appearances along the way.

“The same sense of responsibility prevents me from officially accepting any appearances as a conductor until then.

“That means that with a heavy heart I am obliged to give up my position as Music Director of one of the finest orchestras in the world, the Munich Philharmonic, in my third and last season, 2014/15.”

Maazel is scheduled to conduct “Madame Butterfly” at Castleton on June 28th, the festival’s official opening night.