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  • Lorin Maazel was 75 years old when his first opera, 1984, had its world premiere in 2005?

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Lorin Varencove Maazel (born March 6, 1930) is a conductor, violinist and composer.


Early life

Maazel was born to Jewish-American parents in Neuilly-sur-Seine in France and brought up in the United States. Raised by a musical family (his grandfather Isaac was a violinist in the Met Orchestra), Maazel was a child prodigy, taking his first conducting lesson at age seven and making his debut at age eight. At the age of eleven, he guest conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra on the radio. At twelve he toured America to conduct major orchestras. He made his violin debut at the age of fifteen. He later studied at the University of Pittsburgh.


In 1960 he became the first American to conduct at Bayreuth. He was conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1965 to 1971 and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1965 to 1975.

In 1972, Maazel began his tenure as music director at the Cleveland Orchestra, succeeding George Szell. Maazel's emotional, rich interpretation of music greatly differed from Szell's characteristic crisp, defined precision in performance. One of his most notable recordings during this time was the first complete stereo recording of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, using an all African-American cast (except for the chorus). He held the post until 1982. He has not conducted the Cleveland Orchestra since his departure, a scheduled return engagement in 2006 was cancelled by Maazel because of illness.[1]

Maazel then served at the Vienna State Opera from 1982 to 1984 as general manager and chief conductor. In 1980 he had succeeded Willi Boskovsky as conductor at the Vienna New Year's Concert, an honorary post he upheld until 1986; from 1987 on the conductors have varied year by year,[2] and Maazel has returned four times, most recently in 2005.

From 1984-1988, he was the music consultant to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and its music director from 1988 to 1996. From 1993-2002, he was chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich.

He has conducted the music for three operatic films - Don Giovanni (1979), Carmen (1984), and Otello (1986).

In 2000, Maazel made a guest-conducting appearance with the New York Philharmonic in two weeks of subscription concerts after an absence of over twenty years,[3] which met with positive reaction from the orchestra musicians.[4] This engagement led to his appointment in January 2001 as the orchestra's next music director, starting in 2002, succeeding Kurt Masur.[5][6] He relinquished this position with the New York Philharmonic in 2009 to Alan Gilbert.

In 2004, Maazel became the music director of the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic. In March 2006, Maazel toured Asia with violinist Lidia Baich, conducting orchestras such as the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and NSO of Taiwan. Since September 2006 Maestro Maazel has been the musical director of the orchestra of the opera house of the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (City of Arts and Sciences), Valencia, Spain.

Maazel conducted the New York Philharmonic on their landmark visit to Pyongyang, North Korea on February 26, 2008. He led the orchestra in renditions of the North Korean and United States national anthems, Dvorak's New World Symphony, George Gershwin's An American in Paris, and closed with the traditional Korean folk song "Arirang".

Maazel has also composed an opera, 1984, based on the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

He was depicted conducting Vienna's New Year concert on an Austrian postage stamp issued in 2005.[7]


Maazel has been married three times. His first two marriages, to pianists Miriam Sandbank and Israela Margalit, ended in divorce. His third wife is the German actress Dietlinde Turban. They have two sons and a daughter.

Lorin's father, the actor Lincoln Maazel (1903-2009), co-starred in George A. Romero's horror movie Martin, and his mother, Marie Barnet Maazel, founded the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony.[8]

Notable recordings


  1. ^ Donald Rosenberg, "Maazel cancels". Cleveland Plain Dealer, 8 May 2006.
  2. ^ cd booklet, New Year's Concert 1993 - Wiener Philharmoniker cond. by Riccardo Muti, Philips
  3. ^ Martin Kettle (26 January 2001). "The show goes on". The Guardian.,,428320,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  4. ^ Ralph Blumenthal and Doreen Carvajal (5 February 2001). "Musicians Sing Out and Philharmonic Listens". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  5. ^ Ralph Blumenthal (30 January 2001). "Maazel Is to Lead Philharmonic; Will Succeed Masur as Director". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-29. 
  6. ^ Norman Lebrecht (31 May 2001). "At last, I've made my father happy". Telegraph. Retrieved 2007-04-27. 
  7. ^ "Austria: New Year's Concert 2005 - Lorin Maazel". International Stamp 2005-01-01. Retrieved 2009-11-24. 
  8. ^ Lynne Conner (13 January 2002). "The Double Life of Lincoln Maazel", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

External links

Preceded by
Ferenc Fricsay
Principal Conductor, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
Succeeded by
Riccardo Chailly
Preceded by
Sir Colin Davis
Chief Conductor, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Succeeded by
Mariss Jansons
Preceded by
Principal Conductor, Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
Succeeded by


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