Michael Tilson Thomas Withdraws from Concerts Following Brain Surgery

After an operation to remove a brain tumor, the famed conductor will cancel public appearances through the end of October

Michael Tilson Thomas and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will step back from performances through the end of October to recover from a successful surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Tilson Thomas — founder and artistic director of the New World Symphony, music director laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, and conductor laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra — wrote in a social media post that he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and that an immediate operation was necessary. He underwent surgery at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and has since returned home.

"I'm embarking on a course of therapy for the next several months," Tilson Thomas wrote. "This means that I must curtail my public appearances through the end of October. I am very fortunate to be cared for by the excellent team at UCSF and their national and international collaborators."

Among the conductor's canceled public appearances are concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra for the Kennedy Center’s 50th anniversary, the New World Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Tilson Thomas said in a statement that he "deeply regrets" projects he was greatly anticipating and looks forward to seeing everyone again in November.