Ronald Braunstein was the gold medal winner of the Herbert von Karajan Competition in 1979. ‘Everything was just going great,’ he says. But in between ‘there were times when I could not get out of bed…. for a year.’ In 1985, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Today Braunstein conducts ME2, an orchestra in Vermont made up of musicians who have experience of mental illness, either in their own lives or with close family. It is, he says, a response to the discrimination he faced.
He appears in a soft-spoken short film made by Franz Strasser for the BBC. Watch it here.