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On Saturday December 19, 2015 Kurt Masur, the music director emeritus of the New York Philharmonic, died at 88 years of age. Born in Brieg in the Silesian region of Germany (now Brzeg, Poland) his father was an engineer, and, at his pragmatic insistence, young Kurt studied to become an electrician.1 But Kurt he also studied music, training as a pianist, organist, cellist and percussionist. Wanting to make the field his calling, he entered the National Music School in Breslau. But by the time he was 16, an inoperable tendon injury in his right hand had made performing impossible, and he chose to concentrate on conducting. As a result of the hand condition, Masur conducted without a baton throughout his career. ...

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