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Zubin Mehta
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Zubin Mehta

Zubin Mehta (born April 29, 1936 in Bombay, India) is an internationally renowned conductor of European classical music.

Zubin Mehta was born into an aristocratic Parsi family. His father Mehli Mehta was a violinist and founding conductor of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. Zubin initially intended to study medicine, but eventually became a music student in Vienna at the age of 18, under the eminent instructor Hans Swarowsky. In 1958, he made his conducting debut in Vienna. The same year he won the International Conducting Competition in Liverpool and was appointed assistant conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Mehta soon rose to the rank of chief conductor when he was made Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 1960, a post he held until 1967. Other appointments followed: Musical Director the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1962 - 1978); the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (1978 - 1991), becoming the longest holder of the latter post. He has conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra since 1970 and was made its Music Director for Life in 1981. Additionally since 1998, he has been Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

In June 1994, Maestro Mehta performed the Mozart Requiem, along with the members of the Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at the ruins of Sarajevo's National Library, in a fund raising concert for the victims of armed conflict and remembrance of the thousands of people killed in the Yugoslav wars. On 29th August 1999, he conducted Mahler symphony no 2 (resurrection), at the vicinity of Buchenwald concentration camp in the German city of Weimar, with both the Bavarian State Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, sitting alongside each other. He toured his native country India and home city Mumbai (Bombay) in 1984, with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and again in November-December 1994, with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, along with soloists Itzhak Perlman and Gil Shaham.

Zubin Mehta is especially famous for his interpretations of large scale neo-romantic symphonic music of composers like Anton Bruckner, Richard Strauss and Gustav Mahler. His conducting is also renowned as being flamboyant and forceful in performance. In the year 2000 his brother, Zarin Mehta, was appointed as the executive director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.