Kurt Masur honored by Google Doodle - Why is the conductor Kurt Masur is celebrated on Birthday?

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Kurt Masur celebrated by Google Doodle – why is the German conductor being celebrated on his 91st birthday?

The orchestral supremo became world-renowned for his his faith in the intensity of music to 'bring humanity closer together'

Kurst Masur was born on July 18, 1927, in Brieg, a town now known as Brzeg in modern day Poland.

He was called up as a youngster to join the "Volkssturm" German militia in late 1944 as World War Two entered its final stages.

Aged 17, Masur was captured by Allied forces after just 27 of the 150 soldiers in his unit survived military operation.

Following the war, he studied piano, composition and conducting in Leipzig, but left before completing his studies after being offered a job at the age of 21.

Masur twice conducted the Dresden Philharmoic Orchestra – from 1955 to 1958 and 1947 to 1972 – and took the prestigious role of Kappelmesiter of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig in 1970.

He stayed in the position until 1996, performing Beehoven's ninth symphony at the German reunification celebrations in 1990.

From 1991 to 2002 he was the music director of the New York Philharmonic, and the principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 2000 to 2007.

In New York, he directed Brahms's Deutsches Requim following the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

As well as receiving numerous musical honours, he was named Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour by the French government, became a New York City Cultural Ambassador and was given the Commander Cross of Merit by the Polish Republic.

Masur was married thrice, and had a total of five children including son Ken-David, a classical singer and conductor.

In 2015 died at the age of 88 in Greenwich, Connecticut, after suffering complications of Parkinson's disease.

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