Through the years, we have written several times about brain cancer. Today, we look at an inspiring story about a music maestro — using music to deal with brain cancer.
[Note: It’s been a long summer for us. COVID. Rebound COVID. Pneumonia, that resulted in a six-night hospital stay. Back to looking ahead and loving life. 🙂 ]
Michael Tilson Thomas: Using Music to Deal with Brain Cancer
A star in his field, Michael Tilson Thomas has been a musical conductor for 50+ years. In 2021, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He is an inspiration in the way he is acting today.
Thomas, the former music director of the San Francisco Symphony, spent his career as a musician studying questions of time and existence. He knows that his days are limited. Yet, he has taken bucket-list trips to Tahiti and Nova Scotia with family and friends. Organized journals on life and art that he kept for more than 60 years. And started contemplating the music played at his memorial service.
In late August 2022, at Tanglewood, the summer music festival in the Berkshires, Thomas made an appearance. More than a year since he was diagnosed with glioblastoma. An aggressive form of brain cancer, which drained him of energy. And forced him to confront his mortality earlier than he expected. He emerged with new appreciation for the wonder in Beethoven’s music and the electricity of live performance. “It feels really great,” Thomas, 77, said after the performance. “It feels restorative.”