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Tilson Thomas to undergo heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic

Wed Jun 05, 2019 at 4:30 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Photo: Art Streiber

Photo: Art Streiber

Michael Tilson Thomas, founder and artistic director of the New World Symphony, will undergo heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic later this month.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday night that after conducting San Francisco Symphony performances of Mahler’s Ninth Symphony next week, Tilson Thomas will fly to Cleveland for the unspecified surgery. Following that, he will withdraw from all engagements for the next three months to recover.

“I deeply regret missing concerts and projects that I have been greatly anticipating,” the conductor, 74, said in a released statement. “On the advice of my doctors, I need to undergo this procedure at this time in continuation of treatment for a heart condition I have managed for many years.”

SFS would not release details on the heart condition except to say it is a health situation the conductor has been dealing with “for some time.”

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