Daniel Barenboim steps back from some performing activities to focus on health
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Conductor and pianist made announcement as Gramophone honoured him with our Lifetime Achievement Award
Daniel Barenboim last night announced that he is stepping back from performance to concentrate on his health.
'It is with a combination of pride and sadness that I announce today that I am taking a step back from some of my performing activities, especially conducting engagements, for the coming months,' the conductor and pianist wrote on social media. 'My health has deteriorated over the last months, and I have been diagnosed with a serious neurological condition. I must now focus on my physical well-being as much as possible.'
The sad news announced came as Gramophone honoured Barenboim with our Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to music across more than half a century. Tributes to accompany the Award were offered by leading musicians of today, including from fellow conductors Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Antonio Pappano.
'He really is the personification of lifetime achievement,' said Rattle. 'I can't think of any classical musician who has not been influenced, inspired, or learnt from Daniel over all these years, both as musician, and as philosopher with the extraordinary work he has done with the Divan orchestra. For me personally though my whole career, Daniel you have been so generous, I am profoundly grateful ... My congratulations and best wishes from the entire musical world.'
Pappano described Barenboim as: 'a beacon, a complete musician - the symphonist, the operatic conductor, the pianist, the accompanist, the chamber musician par excellence in every department. You have been a shining example.'
Further tributes came from artists including cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Alisa Weilerstein, and violinists Lisa Batiashvili and Maxim Vengerov.
Our Awards special issue, out today, also includes an article by Gramophone writer Richard Osborne reflecting on Barenboim's career, which you can find here together with a list of recommended recordings demonstrating the extraordinary breadth of his music-making.