Prominent pianist, conductor and Middle East peace activist Daniel Barenboim has cancelled a piano recital at the Opera de Monte-Carlo on Friday, March 10, due to health problems.

Barenboim expressed his regret in a message to the audience, saying that “despite my best efforts, I have not yet built up the muscular strength to perform piano recital programs.”

Barenboim was diagnosed last year with a neurological illness.

Now 80, Barenboim has performed as a conductor in Milan, Berlin and Vienna since mid-February. He said that his health “has improved greatly over the past weeks.”

He said he was saddened to cancel the forthcoming recital, but added that with his “health improving, I am very much set upon returning to the Opera de Monte-Carlo on the first possible occasion, be it as a pianist or a conductor.”

Cecilia Bartoli, the Monte Carlo opera’s director, said the performance on Friday had been planned as a homage to Barenboim’s 80th birthday last November 15. Violinist Maxim Vengerov will step in, playing music by Beethoven, Franck and Tchaikovsky with pianist Roustem Saitkoulov.