Conductor & Music Director
Had he continued with his pre-medical studies, the world would have missed his expressiveness on podium and interpretation of operatic repertoire. Indian orchestral conductor and music director Zubin Mehta makes a natural connection with listeners that comes from sensitivity and observation. For Mehta, there was no looking back since he won the Liverpool International Conducting Competition in 1958. The fact that by 1961, he had conducted the Vienna, Berlin and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras and has recently celebrated 50 years of musical collaboration with all three ensembles, speaks volumes about the long journey that began at the age of just 18 years.
Zubin Mehta made his debut as an opera conductor with Tosca in Montreal in 1963. Since then he has conducted over 3,000 concerts, with this extraordinary ensemble including tours spanning five continents. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra awarded him the title of music director for life. He has a long list of association with world’s leading Orchestras to his name that include New York Philharmonic, del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Metropolitan Opera New York, The Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala Milano Bavarian State Opera to name a few.
In October 2006, he opened the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia and is the president of the annual Festival del Mediterrani in Valencia since then, where he conducted the celebrated ring cycle with the Fura del Baus in co-production with the Florence opera house. His contribution to music goes beyond the podium as he continues to discover and support the musical talents all over the world. Under the banner of Mehli Mehta music foundation in Mumbai, 200 children are educated in the western classical music. Thus, he returns more than what he took from the ‘city of dreams’. In October 2008, Zubin Mehta was honoured by the Japanese Imperial Family with the “Praemium Imperiale”. In March 2011, he received a special distinction, in getting a star on the Hollywood Boulevard. The Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was bestowed to him in July 2012. The Indian government honoured him in September 2013 with the “Tagore Award for cultural harmony” which a year earlier was awarded to Pandit Ravi Shankar.