American conductor Lorin Maazel will conduct all seven concerts in Brazil’s Beethoven Festival, which starts on 10 August, it has been announced.

Maazel is replacing conductor Kurt Masur, who cancelled his engagement due to health issues.

The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra’s (OSB) principal conductor and former artistic director, Roberto Minczuk (right), will not be conducting at the festival and has been stripped of the title of artistic director by the orchestra's management due to an ongoing dispute over his decision to dismiss 33 members of the orchestra.

Minczuk said he wanted to make the OSB one of the world’s greatest orchestras and informed the musicians that they would all have to re-audition. Many members then refused and were subsequently dismissed in June this year.

Musicians from other countries were warned against auditioning to fill their spaces and the International Federation of Musicians said the OSB musicians had been ‘unfairly dismissed’.

Several soloists, including violinist Joshua Bell, cancelled appearances with the OSB. Minczuk himself, however, said: ‘I am shocked by the lies that are being spread online and in the media’ and claimed that facts were being distorted.

Since then, there have been reports that the dismissed musicians have been invited back on terms to be negotiated.

Stella Lorenz