Mehta celebrates 50 years since Los Angeles Philharmonic debut

Posted on: December 10, 2012

Saturday (12/8) on the Los Angeles Times blog Culture Monster, Mark Swed writes, “Bombay born and Vienna trained, debonair enough to impress Hollywood and with a swashbuckling podium style, Zubin Mehta conducted his first concert as music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic 50 years ago. On Nov. 15, 1962, he was 26, the youngest music director in the orchestra’s history, but to observers inside the Philharmonic Auditorium, Mehta came off as unshakably self-confident and strikingly capable. In six more years he would make the cover of Time magazine, an extraordinary feat for a conductor of any age. Thursday night, Mehta and the L.A. Phil will celebrate that anniversary by re-creating the program of Mozart, Hindemith and Dvorák that marked the beginning of his 16 seasons with the orchestra. During those often freewheeling and certainly controversial years, the L.A. Phil rose to a position of international prominence it had never before known. The orchestra’s reputation for being a proudly visionary institution begins here. … When Mehta began, the orchestra performed in a reconverted church while the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was under construction. Mehta opened the gleaming hall in 1964—his soloist was [Jascha] Heifetz—and that ushered the orchestra into a new era. But it was a lengthy process.”

Photo by Wilfried-Hösl

Posted December 10, 2012