MILAN (AP) — Prominent pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim has canceled a piano recital at the Opera de Monte-Carlo due to the effects of a serious neurological condition, the opera house announced on Wednesday.
Barenboim expressed his regret in a message to the audience, saying that “despite my best efforts, I have not yet built up the muscular strength to perform piano recital programs.”
Barenboim was diagnosed last year with the condition, which forced him to step down in January as music director at the Berlin State Opera after three decades.
The 80-year-old musician has returned to conducting, and he noted that his health “has improved greatly over the past weeks.” He conducted three concerts at Milan’s Teatro alla Scala and two with the Berlin State Opera last month.
He said he was saddened to cancel but added that, with his health improving, “I am very much set upon returning to the Opera de Monte-Carlo on the first possible occasion, be it as a pianist or a conductor.”
The opera house’s director, Cecilia Bartoli, said the concert on Friday had been planned as a homage to Barenboim’s 80th birthday last Nov. 15. Violinist Maxim Vengerov will step in, playing music by Beethoven, Franck and Tchaikovsky with pianist Roustem Saitkoulov.