Whygold’s Weekend

Zubin Mehta, Berliner Philharmoniker

Whygold’s Weekend

… under this motto I present you my music tip for the weekend.

Maybe one or the other discovers something new.

Consciously listening to music is, in my opinion, as important as reading a good book.

Today: Zubin Mehta – Franck Symphony – Saint-Saëns Symphony


Zubin Mehta (born April 29, 1936 in Bombay, now Mumbai) is an Indian conductor. The versatile and internationally active artist was, among other things, chief conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1962 to 1978, chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1978 to 1991, general music director of the Bavarian State Opera from 1998 to 2006, and has been honorary conductor of the Staatskapelle Berlin since 2014. He also served as principal conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra from 1977 to 2019.

Mehta comes from the Parsi ethnic group. He grew up in a wealthy Zoroastrian musical family of central India and has a younger brother. He received his first violin and piano lessons at the age of seven and became familiar with European classical music at an early age. He attended the private “Campion School” Bombay under the direction of Jesuit priests during the first to fifth school years (1942-1946). His only sporting interest was cricket. In 1947, Mehta entered St. Mary’s High School in Mumbai, where he graduated from college four years later.

A pupil of his father Mehli Mehta, a violin virtuoso who spent many years in the United States, he conducted the Bombay Symphony Orchestra for the first time at the age of 16. At the request of his parents, he began studying medicine at St. Xavier’s College, University of Mumbai. After two semesters, however, he focused entirely on music. At the age of 18 he came to Vienna and studied piano, composition and double bass at the Vienna Music Academy. He trained as a conductor with Hans Swarowsky.

In 1958 he won the Liverpool International Conducting Competition and became assistant bandmaster there. In his mid-twenties, he had already conducted the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, with which he is still associated today. In the USA, he took second place at the competition in Tanglewood, Massachusetts. At this time he also met the leader of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Charles Münch, who had a great influence on his further career. In 1960 Mehta made his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, of which he was principal from 1962 to 1966.

Mehta was music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1962 to 1978. In 1969 he also became musical advisor to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), where he was appointed chief conductor in 1977 and music director for life in 1981. Mehta announced that he would hand over the reins of the IPO to Lahav Shani in 2019, 50 years after he began his work with the IPO.[2] In 1978, he became music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and remained for 13 years until he was succeeded by Kurt Masur. From 1985 to 2017, he was principal conductor of the Maggio Musicale in Florence.[3]

As Mehta worked as an opera conductor in Montréal, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, at the Vienna State Opera, at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, at the Bavarian State Opera, London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden, La Scala in Milan and the opera houses of Montréal, Chicago, Berlin (Deutsche Oper) and Florence, as well as at the Salzburg Festival. With
in the Forbidden City and
in Rome, he performed two major opera projects at original locations.[4]

From September 1998 to 2006, Mehta was General Music Director at the Bavarian State Opera.

Mehta conducted the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert at the Vienna Musikverein five times, first succeeding Carlos Kleiber in 1990,[5] then in 1995, 1998, 2007 and 2015.

Mehta has been married to actress Nancy Kovack since July 19, 1969. His first marriage to Carmen Lasky produced two grown-up children. His son, Mervon Mehta, is vice president of the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.

His father Mehli Mehta was already a prominent concert violinist, violin teacher and conductor who founded the Bombay Symphony Orchestra and a string quartet.

His cousin Dady Mehta is a pianist, and his son Bejun Mehta is a world-renowned countertenor.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Also an interesting biography.

Have fun listening to this album !

Your Chris Weigold

P.S.: Maybe you enjoy the listening pleasure together with a glass of wine from our “Orchester der Kulturen Edition”.