Lorin Maazel

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About Lorin Maazel

A remarkable child prodigy, Lorin Maazel made his conducting debut at the age of eight and worked with Stokowski and Toscanini before his teens. He was born in 1930 in France and enjoyed a career of over 75 years, going on to hold positions with many of the principal orchestras and opera companies of the U.S. and Europe, notably the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Vienna State Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and New York Philharmonic. In 1960, he became the first American and first Jewish conductor to appear at Bayreuth, returning for the Ring cycles in 1968 and 1969; he also conducted no fewer than 11 Vienna New Year’s Day concerts. His photographic memory enabled him to conduct predominantly without a score, and his iron-clad baton technique produced performances of remarkable intensity, as demonstrated by a number of early recordings with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. He also recorded symphony cycles by Mahler (twice), Bruckner and Schubert (with Berlin), and Sibelius (the 1960s cycle with the Vienna State Opera is superior to a later one from Pittsburgh), as well as less expected repertoire such as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. An accomplished violinist and composer, Maazel recorded his own Violin Concerto, and his opera 1984 was performed at Covent Garden in 2005. He died in 2014, having been made chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic only two years earlier.

Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
March 6, 1930
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