André Previn Cancels Tanglewood Engagement

Conductor James DePriest, of the Oregon Symphony, has agreed to replace Previn.

Conductor/composer André Previn, 70, announced on Friday that he will miss three concerts in July with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra because of an eye infection.

James DePriest, musical director of the Oregon Symphony since 1980, has agreed to replace Previn for a concert July 2 and the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert on July 15. On both, DePriest will conduct Elgar's Enigma Variations, as Previn had planned. Previn's appearance with Malcolm Lowe at a duo piano-violin concert July 15 also has been canceled.

Previn has been suffering from a blood blockage, or retinal vein occlusion, in his eye, which prevents him from extended movement. Doctors warned him that conducting could cause further damage.

"The short-term effect creates a perspective problem, but the doctors aren't sure what the long-term effects are. But he's certainly hoped to get better," a Columbia Records spokesperson who has been in contact with the artist said.

Previously, Previn had missed two concerts with the Pittsburgh Symphony because of the ongoing problems with his left eye.

Previn, a versatile composer and performer, has recorded with a vast array of artists, from jazz musician Shelly Manne to classical violinist Itzhak Perlman. His opera, based on Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," premiered at the San Francisco Opera in 1998.

He was conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1976–1984 and has held chief artistic positions with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Philharmonic and the Houston Symphony. In 1993, he was named conductor laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra.

In 1996, Previn was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. His most recent award is a 1998 Kennedy Center Honor for lifetime achievement.

Previn is expected to perform concerts with Tanglewood and the BSO in August.