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Lorin Maazel

Conductor, Maazel: Mahler Cycle 2011
For over five decades, Lorin Maazel has been one of the world's most esteemed and sought-after conductors. In 2010/11, he completes his fifth and final season as the inaugural Music Director of the spectacular Santiago Calatrava-designed opera house in Valencia, Spain, the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. Music Director of the New York Philharmonic from 2002 to 2009, he assumes the same post with the Munich Philharmonic at the start of the 2012/13 season. He is also the founder and Artistic Director of a new festival based at his farm property in Virginia, the Castleton Festival, launched to exceptional acclaim in 2009 and expanding its activities nationally and internationally in 2011 and beyond.

Maestro Maazel's 2010/11 season is highlighted by productions of Aïda and his own opera 1984 at the Palau de les Arts; two concerts with the newly formed resident orchestra of China's National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing; a New Year's eve marathon concert of all nine Beethoven Symphonies in Tokyo; and return appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In addition to this Mahler cycle in London with the Philharmonia, he tours extensively with the Orchestra in Europe. In September 2010, he marked the 100th anniversary of the première of Mahler's Eighth Symphony at the Ruhr Festival conducting the work with forces numbering in excess of one thousand performers. In March 2011, he took two Castleton Festival Opera productions to Berkeley, California (part of the Cal Performances season) for the the company's West Coast début, with Britten's Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring.

Maestro Maazel is also a highly regarded composer, with a wide-ranging catalogue of works written primarily over the last dozen years. His first opera, 1984, based on George Orwell's literary masterpiece, had its world première at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in May 2005. A revival of 1984 took place at La Scala, Milan, in May 2008, and a Decca DVD of the original London production was released that same month.

A second-generation American born in Paris, Lorin Maazel began violin lessons at the age fo five, and conducting lessons at seven. He studied with Vladimir Bakaleinikoff, and appeared publicly for the first time at eight. Between the ages of nine and 15, he conducted most of the major American orchestras, including the NBC Symphony at the invitation of Toscanini. At 17, he entered the University of Pittsburgh to study languages,mathematics and philosophy.

In 1951 he went to Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship to further his studies, and two years later made his European conducting début, stepping in for an ailing conductor at the Massimo Bellini Theatre in Catania, Italy. He quickly established himself as amajor artist, appearing at Bayreuth in 1960 (the first American to do so), with the Boston Symphony in 1961 and at the Salzburg Festival in 1963.

In the years since, Maestro Maazel has conducted more than 150 orchestras in no fewer than 5,000 opera and concert performances. He has made over 300 recordings, including symphonic cycles/complete orchestral works of Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Mahler, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Richard Strauss, winning 10 Grands Prix du Disques.

Maestro Maazel has been Music Director of the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio (1993-2002); Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony (1988-96); General Manager and Chief Conductor of the Vienna State Opera (1982-84) - the first American to hold that position; music director of The Cleveland Orchestra (1972-82); and artistic director and chief conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin (1965-71). His close association with the Vienna Philharmonic includes 11 internationally televised New Year's Concerts from Vienna.

Alongside his prodigious performing activity, Maestro Maazel has found time to work with and nurture young artists, based on his strong belief in the value of sharing his experience with the next generation(s) of musicians. He founded a major competition for young conductors in 2000, culminating in a final round at Carnegie Hall two years later, and has since been an active mentor to many of the finalists. Through his Châteauville Foundation, in Castleton, Virginia, he has created a new festival and residency programme for young artists, bringing together aspiring singers, instrumentalists and conductors to work in an intensive, collaborative environment, with guidance from senior artists/mentors. |