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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Music Review

With a sage guide, a tour of a cathedral in sound

It’s been a difficult few seasons for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s roster of distinguished aging guest conductors. Kurt Masur recently fell and broke a hip in a Tel Aviv hotel room. Once a frequent guest, Sir Colin Davis has not appeared on a BSO schedule since his last cancellation in 2011, also on health grounds. And Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos (returning next week) was visibly frail when last seen conducting the BSO in Tanglewood.

Against this backdrop, Christoph von Dohnanyi, 83, stands out for his twinned steadiness and vitality, his sense of intellectual rigor leavened by the wisdom of experience. His visits to the BSO podium during this leaderless period have grown more frequent, and he is back again this week, this time with works of Mozart and Bruckner.

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