Mehta to leave New York Philharmonic in 2012

Posted on: September 28, 2010

In Tuesday’s (9/28) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin reports, “Zarin Mehta, the president and chief executive of the New York Philharmonic, said on Monday that he would step down when his contract expires after the 2011-12 season, completing a generational shift at the orchestra. Mr. Mehta, who turns 72 on Oct. 28, will have spent 12 years at the Philharmonic—a tenure marked by exotic touring, including a singular visit to North Korea; the hiring of the relatively youthful Alan Gilbert as music director; and gains in corporate sponsorship. … The early notice gives the orchestra plenty of time to find a successor, Mr. Mehta said, adding that when he goes, Mr. Gilbert, now 43, will have completed three seasons at the musical helm and will have planned the season after. … The departure of Mr. Mehta, who has logged three decades in the concert world—running the Montreal Symphony in the 1980s, then Chicago’s Ravinia Festival in the 1990s, before arriving in New York—comes at a moment when uncertainty over the role of orchestras in our society seems to be growing. … One of Mr. Mehta’s last major tasks will be to negotiate a new contract with the Philharmonic musicians. The contract expires in September.”

Photo: Zarin Mehta and Alan Gilbert during a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam

Posted September 28, 2010