In the Sunday (6/14) edition of The Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio), Janelle Gelfand speaks to Erich Kunzel, conductor of the Cincinnati Pops, about keeping up with multiple music engagements even as he undergoes chemotherapy treatments for cancer of the pancreas, liver and colon, diagnosed on April 29. The day after Kunzel conducts the Cincinnati Pops at Riverbend Music Center, on June 18, Gelfand writes, “He’ll fly to Boston for three concerts with the Boston Pops. On June 22, he’ll fly to Toronto to conduct three pops shows with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Between shows, Kunzel is squeezing in weekly cancer treatments in Bar Harbor, Maine and Cincinnati. So far, he has only felt a slight loss of pep. ‘I feel good,’ he says. ‘On the days I get the chemo, they’re very tiring, and I don’t have the stamina I used to. But I’m still going, as far as I’m concerned, 100 percent.’ … On July Fourth, Kunzel will be back in Washington to conduct ‘A Capitol Fourth,’ as he has for 20 years. The next day, he leaves for Beijing, his first trip back to China since he led the Cincinnati Pops at the 2008 Olympics,” where he will lead a Chinese orchestra in what he calls “a Kunzel type of show,” including Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts.

Posted June 15, 2009

Photo of Erich Kunzel by Mark Lyons