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Lorin Maazel

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Lorin Maazel

Lorin Maazel

Lorin Varencove Maazel (March 6, 1930 – July 13, 2014) was an American conductor, violinist and composer. Making his debut at the conducting podium at the age of eight, he embarked on his career in earnest in 1953, establishing a reputation in European concert halls by 1960 but, by comparison, his career in the U.S. progressed far more slowly. However, he would later be appointed music director of the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic (NYP), among other posts. Maazel was well-regarded in baton technique and possessed a photographic memory for scores. Described as mercurial and forbidding in rehearsal, he mellowed in old age.[1]

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • Honors 3
  • Notable recordings 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Early life

Maazel was born to Jewish American parents of Russian origin in Martin); and his mother, Marion "Marie" Shulman Maazel (1894–1992),[4] founded the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra.[5] His grandfather Isaac was a violinist in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for twenty years. Both Lincoln and Marie gave interviews for the Oral History Collection at the University of Pittsburgh, Lincoln's in 1994, and Marie's in 1974. These can be heard online.[6]

Maazel was a child prodigy, taking his first conducting lesson at age seven with Vladimir Bakaleinikov and making his debut at age eight. At the age of eleven, he guest-conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra on the radio. At twelve he toured the United States of America to conduct major orchestras. He made his violin debut at the age of fifteen. He attended the Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School[7] at the University of Pittsburgh as a child, followed by Peabody High School and the University of Pittsburgh.[8][9][10] Maazel studied briefly with Pierre Monteux in 1945.[11]

Career

In the early 1950s, Maazel toured as the conductor with the Gershwin Concert Orchestra. The orchestra consisted of 25 members and a noted array of soloists. The orchestra was organized in cooperation with Jesús Maria Sanromá, Carolyn Long and Theodor Uppman.[12]

In 1960, Maazel became the first American to conduct at the Bayreuth Festspielhaus. He was chief conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1965 to 1971 and the Radio-Symphonie-Orchester (RSO) Berlin from 1964 to 1975.

In 1972, Maazel began his tenure as music director at the African American cast (except for the chorus). Maazel held the post until 1982. He never returned to the Cleveland Orchestra after his departure, although a scheduled engagement in 2006 did not occur because of illness.[13] In 1977, he became music director of the Orchestre National de France in Paris, a position he held until 1991.

From 1982 to 1984, Maazel served at the Vienna State Opera as general manager and principal conductor. In 1980, he succeeded Willi Boskovsky as conductor at the Vienna New Year's Concert and he led this televised annual event each year, until 1986. He returned to it four times: in 1994, 1996, 1999 and 2005.

From 1984 to 1988, Maazel was the music consultant to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and its music director from 1988 to 1996. From 1993 until 2002, he was chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich.

In 1989, expecting – but failing – to become successor to Herbert von Karajan as chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Maazel suddenly and publicly severed all connections with the orchestra when it was announced that Claudio Abbado was to take over. He claimed that his decision was because he was concerned for the orchestra's well-being.[14]

In 2000, Maazel made a guest-conducting appearance with the An American in Paris, and closed with the traditional Korean folk song "Arirang". Maazel stepped down from the New York Philharmonic after the 2008/09 season.

In 2004, Maazel became the music director of the Arturo Toscanini Philharmonic. From September 2006 till March 2011, he was the musical director of the Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, the house orchestra of the opera house Palau de les Arts, Valencia, Spain. His last concert there as Music Director took place on his 81st birthday on March 6, 2011, conducting his only opera 1984. In March 2010, Maazel was named chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, effective with the 2012/13 season.[19] Early in 2014, Maazel cancelled concert engagements as a result of ill health. Subsequently, in June 2014, he announced his resignation as music director of the Munich Philharmonic with immediate effect.[20]

Maazel conducted the music for three operatic films, Nineteen Eighty-Four.[21] He was depicted conducting Vienna's New Year concert on an Austrian postage stamp issued in 2005.[22] Maazel and his wife, Dietlinde Turban together operated a summer music festival called Castleton Festival at their Castleton, Virginia 600-acre (2.4 km2) estate, Castleton Farms.[23] Maazel arranged Wagner's Ring Cycle into a 70-minute suite, The 'Ring' Without Words, which he recorded in 1987 with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Maazel's catalogue contained over 300 recordings of works by Beethoven, Brahms, Mahler, Schubert, Richard Strauss and others. He earned 10 Grand Prix du Disque awards.[21]

Maazel died on July 13, 2014, at his Castleton Farms estate in Virginia, from complications of pneumonia. He was survived by his daughters Anjali Maazel and Daria Maazel Steketee; son Ilann Maazel and daughter Fiona Maazel; his wife, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, their sons Orson and Leslie, and their daughter Tara, and four grandchildren, Kiran, Owen, Calypso, and Sahara.

Honors

Maazel was a Commander of the Légion d'honneur of the French Republic and of the Finnish Order of the Lion. He was decorated with the Bundesverdienstkreuz of the Federal Republic of Germany. On 27 May 2013, he received an honorary membership of the Vienna State Opera and the "Groszes Goldenes Verdienstkreuz" of Austria.

Maazel received the Italian Premio Abbiati and was an Honorary Life Member of the Israel Philharmonic. In addition, he was a Kentucky Colonel.[24]

Notable recordings

References

  1. ^ Midgette, Anne (July 13, 2014). "Lorin Maazel, child prodigy turned brilliant conductor and festival founder: 1930–2014". Washington Post. Retrieved July 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ Pittsburgh Live
  3. ^ Sara Bauknecht (September 23, 2009). "Obituary: Lincoln Maazel / Performer and father of symphony conductor".  
  4. ^ Variety Staff (December 17, 1992). "Obituary: Marion Maazel".  
  5. ^ Lynne Conner (13 January 2002). "The Double Life of Lincoln Maazel", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  6. ^ University of Pittsburgh Library
  7. ^ Vitone, Elaine. "Well Schooled". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ "High School Boy to Lead Pittsburgh Symphony". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. December 15, 1942. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ Apone, Carl (September 12, 1986). "The Maazel Era Begins". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  10. ^ "East Liberty's Wall of Fame". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 7, 2001. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  11. ^ Canarina J. Pierre Monteux, Maître. Amadeus Press, Pompton Plains, Cambridge, 2003, p228.
  12. ^ "Gershwin Festival Program Held At Kohler".  
  13. ^ Donald Rosenberg, "Maazel cancels". Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 8, 2006.
  14. ^ Rockwell, John (October 25, 1989). "Maazel Cancels All Berlin Philharmonic Dates". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ Martin Kettle (January 26, 2001). "The show goes on". The Guardian (London). Retrieved April 27, 2007. 
  16. ^ Ralph Blumenthal and Doreen Carvajal (February 5, 2001). "Musicians Sing Out and Philharmonic Listens". New York Times. Retrieved April 29, 2008. 
  17. ^ Ralph Blumenthal (January 30, 2001). "Maazel Is to Lead Philharmonic; Will Succeed Masur as Director". The New York Times. Retrieved April 29, 2008. 
  18. ^  
  19. ^ "Lorin Maazel wird Chefdirigent der Münchner Philharmoniker" (Press release). Munich Philharmonic. March 27, 2010. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 
  20. ^ Lucas Wiegelmann (2014-06-12). "Star-Dirigent Lorin Maazel tritt zurück". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-02-07. 
  21. ^ a b Lorin Maazel, inspiring conductor who led New York Philharmonic, dies at 84
  22. ^ "Austria: New Year's Concert 2005 – Lorin Maazel". International Stamp News.com. January 1, 2005. Retrieved November 24, 2009. 
  23. ^ Daniel J. Wakin (June 12, 2009). "For Maestro Maazel, It's on to the Coda". New York Times. Retrieved April 24, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Lorin Maazel - obituary". Telegraph. 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 

External links

  • Lorin Maazel official website
  • Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Oral History Collection at the University of Pittsburgh, Marie Maazel in 1974
  • Oral History Collection at the University of Pittsburgh, Lincoln Maazel in 1994
  • Lorin Maazel Biography
  • Lorin Maazel at AllMusic
  • Interview with Marion Maazel mother of Lorin Maazel (1974) University of Pittsburgh
  • The Châteauville Foundation was established at Castleton Farms, VA in 1997 by Lorin and Dietlinde Maazel. The Foundation's mission is to nurture young artists, foster collaborative artistic enterprise and create opportunities within the community for shared cultural experience.
  • Q&A with Lorin Maazel about leadershipUSA Today
  • Interview with Lorin Maazel by Bruce Duffie, October 22, 1986
  • Castleton Festival, "Maestro Lorin Maazel – 1930–2014". 13 July 2014
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Ferenc Fricsay
Principal Conductor, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin
1964–1975
Succeeded by
Riccardo Chailly
Preceded by
(no predecessor)
Principal Conductor, Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
2006–present
Succeeded by
incumbent
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