July 14, 2014
American conductor Lorin Maazel has died at the age of 84
The maestro who helmed the New York and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras in recent years had a career spanning 7 decades.
One of the most prolific and revered conductors of our times, Lorin Maazel died on July 13 at his home in Virginia, following complications due to pneumonia.
Maazel was born in 1930 in Paris to American Jewish parents. His prodigious gifts as both violinist and conductor were recognised early on, with Toscanini inviting him to conduct the NBC Orchestra at just 11 years old. He went on to become the first American conductor at the Bayreuth Festival.
In a career spanning more than 70 years, he directed the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Orchestras, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, among others. In 2002-9 he was the beloved Music Director of the New York Philharmonic - his last major post - and was head of the Munich Philharmonic at the time of his death.
His extensive discography includes Russian piano concertos with Emil Gilels and Sviatoslav Richter, Dvorak Slavonic Dances with the Berlin Philharmonic, and two legendary opera recordings: a 1976 Massenet Thaïs with Beverly Sills and Nicolai Gedda, and Carmen with Domingo and the Orchestre National de France.