Kurt Masur (born July 18, 1927) is a German conductor. Masur was born in Brieg in Silesia and studied piano, composition and conducting in Leipzig. He held a number of conducting posts in East Germany, conducting the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra from 1955 to 1958 and again from 1967 to 1972. In 1970 he became kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, serving in that post until 1996. In 1991 he succeeded Zubin Mehta as music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (NYP), leaving that post in 2002.