Legendary conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim has announced that he will be stepping back from conducting and performing for the foreseeable future for health reasons. The news comes after he was forced to withdraw from several performances in 2022, including an anticipated Ring Cycle in Berlin.

Born in Buenos Aires to Jewish Russian parents, and based in Berlin, the 79-year-old maestro has been General Music Director of Berlin State Opera since 1992, and Principal Conductor for Life with the Staatskapelle Berlin since 2003. A child prodigy on the piano, he gave his first formal recital at age seven, and began taking lessons in conducting at age 11. He has led orchestras around the world, and is renowned for his humanitarian efforts, founding the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to enable an intercultural dialogue between young Israeli and Arab musicians.

Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim. Photo © Deutsche Grammophon.

In a statement released on social media on 4 October, Barenboim said that he had been diagnosed with “a serious neurological condition” and must now focus on his...