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Cleveland Orchestra's Franz Welser-Möst to miss concerts for medical treatment

The Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst conducts the orchestra at Severance.
Roger Mastroianni
The Cleveland Orchestra
Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst needs time away from some conducting engagements for medical treatments.

Cleveland Orchestra Music Director Franz Welser-Möst needs time away from the podium this year for medical treatment.

The orchestra announced Friday that Welser-Möst recently had a cancerous tumor removed and needs further medical care over the next year or so. He will still conduct upcoming concerts at Severance Music Center at the end of September and early October before stepping away until the end of the year.

He is expected to resume conducting concerts in January and will schedule treatments between conducting engagements, according to a press release from the orchestra.

Born and raised in Austria, Welser-Möst has been with the orchestra since 2002. The orchestra extended his contract through 2027 in 2019, citing the worldwide acclaim it has received under his leadership.

Welser-Möst also was recognized then for his work developing younger audiences, promoting educational offerings such as classical mediation in classrooms and presenting opera festivals in Cleveland.

Before his tenure as music director, Welser-Möst began regular guest conducting the orchestra in 1993. The Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts awarded him a Gold Medal in the Arts in 2019. Welser-Möst also maintains a partnership with the Vienna Philharmonic as a guest conductor.

As the orchestra’s 2023-2024 classical season begins, Welser-Möst still plans to conduct Trifonov Plays Brahms, a program featuring Daniil Trifonov, the winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, at Severance Sept. 28-Oct. 1. He will also conduct Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony, a joyful piece that weaves in Ukrainian folk music, Oct. 5-7, and Mahler's Song of the Night, a program featuring British baritone Simon Keenlyside, Oct. 12-13.

Earlier this year, the Cleveland Orchestra presented an arts and humanities festival titled “American Dream,” centered around the social and historical importance of the Puccini opera “La fanciulla del West” (“The Girl of the West”). The festival featured partnerships with numerous arts organizations in the region, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Karamu House and the Cleveland Cinematheque, and a keynote address from Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Isabel Wilkerson.

In May 2024, the orchestra's next opera and humanities festival is to feature Welser-Möst conducting Mozart’s the Magic Flute.

Carrie Wise is the deputy editor of arts and culture at Ideastream Public Media.