- Associated Press - Friday, April 27, 2012

PARIS (AP) - Kurt Masur, the legendary former director of the New York Philharmonic, was recovering from injuries in a hospital on Friday after he fell off a podium during a concert in the French capital.

The 84-year-old Masur, who was conducting the National Orchestra of France on Thursday night, lost balance during a movement of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6.

The orchestra’s spokesperson, Camille Grabowski, told The Associated Press on Friday that Masur is expected to be released “very soon” from Paris’ Pompidou hospital, following overnight tests.

“He fell upside down onto his back because his left foot was too near the edge of the podium. It’s not linked to health problems. He’s as healthy as anyone of his age,” added Grabowski.

However, in February and March this year, Masur canceled a series of performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, which cited his “current physical condition.”

No elaboration was provided by either orchestra.

In a statement Friday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy sent his best wishes, calling the German-born maestro a “legendary musician.”

Sarkozy also recalled the conductor’s political engagement and his “historic role” in helping reconciliation between East and West Germany at the time of the Iron Curtain.

Masur was a key figure who promoted peace during the civil rights movement in the East German city of Leipzig that helped lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Masur has been honorary musical director at the Paris-based orchestra since 2008.

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