Conductor Grant Llewellyn on post-stroke recovery and gradual return to the podium

Posted on: June 15, 2021

“When the conductor Grant Llewellyn had a stroke last summer, it was not a sudden attack … but the impact was no less dramatic” writes Nelli Bird in Friday’s (6/11) BBC News (U.K.). “The 60-year-old, who lives in Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan [in Wales], went to hospital. It took three days for his symptoms to stop getting worse and many scans to confirm he had had a stroke…. After a month in the stroke unit in nearby Llandough Hospital, Grant returned home. The six months that followed were a ‘severe learning curve’ in managing his expectations of recovery. ‘The physiotherapists were concerned that I wouldn’t hurt myself—not that I would ever conduct again,’ he said…. Since March, Grant has been back working with his orchestra in France, L’Orchestre National de Bretagne…. He recently conducted an hour and a half concert…. ‘I can conduct Beethoven symphonies, but I can’t get out of bed. I can’t tie my shoelaces.’ … Grant said he knew his recovery would ‘not be 100%.’ But … Grant is focusing on what he can do and the joy of making music again.” Llewelyn was music director of the North Carolina Symphony from 2004 to 2020.