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Zubin Mehta, who was born in 1936 in Mumbai as the son of the violinist and conductor Mehli Mehta, completed his education in Vienna, where he studied orchestral conducting (with Hans Swarowsky), double bass, percussion, and composition. After winning the Liverpool Conducting Competition in 1958, his first leadership positions took him to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (1961-67) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1962-78). Mehta’s collaboration with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which began in 1961 and led to his appointment as Principal Conductor in 1977, is especially legendary. He will resign from this post at the end of 2019. Mehta has also served as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic (1978-91), the Maggio Musicale in Florence (1985-2017), and the Bavarian Staatsoper (1998-2006). He has moreover performed as an opera conductor at the Salzburg Festival, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Royal Opera House in London. Mehta holds the Nikisch Ring and is an honorary member of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Society of Friends of Music, and the Vienna Philharmonic, whose New Year’s concerts he has conducted five times. He is also honorary conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Bavarian Staatsoper, and the Staatskapelle Berlin. Mehta has frequently made a mark in the political-humanitarian field through musical work, as for example with a joint concert of the Berlin Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra which he led in 1990. Together with his brother Zarin, he founded the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Mumbai to introduce Indian children to Western classical music. Zubin Mehta is an honorary citizen of Florence and Tel Aviv and was awarded the Praemium Imperiale in Tokyo in October 2008.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 4 September 1964 with the Vienna Philharmonic with a program of works including works by Gottfried von Einem, Franz Liszt, and Johannes Brahms.