Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Moest, music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, has announced that he will be forced to cancel all his engagements from the end of October until the end of the year in order to begin treatment for cancer . He plans to resume his commitments in January, at the end of the first period of treatment, according to a press release published late Friday on his website.
Franz Welser-Moest, 63, “was recently operated on for a cancerous tumor and will need to undergo treatment between his commitments for the next twelve to sixteen months,” according to the press release. “The initial period of his treatment will begin at the end of October. Unfortunately, Welser-Moest must withdraw from all his commitments from the end of October until the end of the year,” adds the text, specifying that he plans to resume conducting in January. "His doctors are confident of a full recovery," the statement said.
Franz Welser-Moest had already had to be replaced this summer for the conduct of a new production of Macbeth at the prestigious Salzburg festival, which had then invoked "orthopedic problems".
Music director of the Cleveland Orchestra for 22 years, Franz Welser-Moest was also music director of the Vienna Opera from 2010 to 2014, one of the most prestigious positions in the world of classical music. He regularly conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the Musikverein as well as on tour in Europe, Japan, China and the United States. He has also conducted this orchestra on several occasions for its traditional New Year's concert.
Initially, Franz Welser-Moest intended for a career as a violinist but the after-effects on his fingers of a car accident forced him to turn to conducting. He has conducted the greatest orchestras around the world, in London, Berlin, Zurich, Philadelphia and New York.