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American conductor Lorin Maazel was born in 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine on the outskirts of Paris and brought up in the United States. He began playing violin at the age of 5, and at 7 he had his first lessons in conducting, soon earning a reputation as a “Wunderkind.” When he was 11, Arturo Toscanini invited him to lead the NBC Symphony Orchestra in New York; the following year he made his debut conducting the New York Philharmonic. Along with his musical education, Maazel studied philosophy, languages, and mathematics. His international career as a conductor began in 1954 and soon brought him to all the major orchestras. Six years later Maazel made his Bayreuth Festival debut with Lohengrin, and three years after that came his first Salzburg Festival engagement with Le nozze di Figaro. In 1965 he was appointed to two posts in Berlin: General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper and Chief Conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. From 1972 to 1982 Maazel held tenure as Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, and from1982 to 1984 he helmed the Vienna Staatsoper. Additional leadership positions have been with the Pittsburgh Symphony (1988–96), the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (1993–2002), the New York Philharmonic (2002–09), and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia (2006–11). He will embark on a three-year tenure as Chief Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic at the start of the 2012-13 season. During the course of his career, Lorin Maazel had conducted 150 different orchestras in more than 5,000 concert and opera performances; his discography comprises some 300 recordings and has won ten Grands Prix du Disque. Maazel is also a successful composer: his opera 1984 based on Orwell’s novel was premiered at Covent Garden in London in 2005 and revived in 2008 at La Scala in Milan.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 23 August 1958 with the Swiss Festival Orchestra in works by Beethoven, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev.