Obituary: conductor Lorin Maazel, 84

Posted on: July 14, 2014

In Monday’s (7/14) New York Times, Allan Kozinn reports, “Lorin Maazel, a former child prodigy who went on to become the music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera and several other ensembles and companies around the world, and who was known for his incisive and sometimes extreme interpretations, died on Sunday at his home in Castleton, Va.… Alan Gilbert, Mr. Maazel’s successor as music director of the Philharmonic, said Sunday, ‘Personally, I am grateful to him, not only for the brilliant state of the orchestra that I inherited from him, but for the support and encouragement he extended to me when I took over his responsibilities.’ ” In addition to his music directorships at the Cleveland Orchestra (1972-82) and New York Philharmonic (2002-09), Maazel led the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1984 to 1996. Until shortly before his death Maazel had been rehearsing for the Castleton Festival, an enterprise he founded in 2009 with his wife Dietlinde Turban Maazel. Born March 6, 1930 in a Parisian suburb to a pair of American music students, Maazel spent his boyhood in Los Angeles and then Pittsburgh, to which the Maazels had moved so their gifted son could continue conducting lessons with Vladimir Bakaleinikoff. Following studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Maazel organized and played violin in the Fine Arts Quartet, joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s violin section, then began his professional conducting career with a succession of engagements in Europe, Japan, Australia, and Latin America.
Maazel was interviewed for Symphony magazine’s online edition by Nancy Shear on the occasion of his retirement from the New York Philharmonic in 2009. To read “Man for All Seasons,” click here.

Posted July 14, 2014

Pictured: Lorin Maazel conducts the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, 2009. Photo by Robert Stolarik/New York Times