Zubin Mehta cancels into next season

Zubin Mehta cancels into next season


norman lebrecht

May 03, 2018

From Bayerische Staatsoper:

Liebe Besucher,

wir möchten Sie darauf hinweisen, dass Constantinos Carydis statt Zubin Mehta die musikalische Leitung der Akademiekonzerte am 21., 24. und 25. September 2018 übernehmen wird.

Maestro Mehta muss dem Rat seiner Ärzte folgend schon jetzt Pausen in seinem Kalender einplanen: „Ich bedauere sehr, dass dies auch die Akademiekonzerte mit meinem geliebten Staatsorchester betrifft“, so der ehemalige Generalmusikdirektor.

Mehta’s doctor has told him to put longer gaps in his diary. The stand-in is definitely worth hearing.



  • Sue says:

    He’s old now. Inevitable.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    What does the picture with a non classical singer have to do with the news?

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I haven’t been crazy about Mehta’s conducting over the years, but I wish him the very best. I do, however, wish he had done a Mahler 8th – he would have been a natural at it, and could always get great singers to work with him.

    • PaulD says:

      I saw him conduct Mahler’s 8th in Los Angeles, way back in the 1970s. He was celebrating his 40th birthday. I wish I still had my program from that concert, so I’d know who the soloists were.

      • barry guerrero says:

        I’d love know who was in the cast of Mehta’s L.A. Mahler 8 from the ’70s.

      • Olassus says:

        Heather Harper. Clarice Carson, Delcina Stevenson, Claudine Carlson, Nina Hinson, Seth McCoy, Douglas Lawrence and Simon Estes. California Boys’ Choir, Collegiate Chorale, Irvine Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Singers, Los Angeles Master Chorale and Metropolitan Festival Singers. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Zubin Mehta. April 29, 30, and May 1, 1976. First Los Angeles performances.

        • Danny Kaiser says:

          Maestro Mehta did Mahler’s 8th’ around same time with the Israeli Pilharminic and almost same cast, in the old open-air Roman Amphitheater in Caesrea, using the exceptional venue for getting brilliant acoustic effects by brass players all around the last highest row, and so forth. A memorable event!
          Lets pray all of us for his rapid recovery!

    • Jerome Hoberman says:

      I saw him conduct Mahler 8 in Jerusalem in 1976 — its first performance in Israel.

  • Alan O’Connor says:

    Saw him several times in Florence. The last was the Missa Solemnis by Beethoven. Thought it was great. He did a great Bruckner 4 there six or seven years ago too.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Poor Mehta. Hasn’t done anything notable in nearly three decades if not longer. And his mysterious (other than $ signs) post-Three Tenors championing of Andrea Bocelli certainly didn’t help with this reality and perception.

    • George says:

      This comment is ridiculous and disrespectful.

    • MacroV says:

      Kind of off-point. Yet somehow the world’s top orchestras – even those like Berlin and Vienna where the players choose the conductors – keep inviting him back to conduct.

      82 isn’t that old these days; I assume he’ll be back before long.

      • Olassus says:

        Caravaggio is exactly right.

        Orchestras invite him back because (a) he sells tix, being a recording-industry “name”; (b) he is pleasant, efficient and easy to follow; and (c) musically his only concern is good intonation, so they enjoy artistic freedom and can often shine.

        Interpretively nothing is going on.

        • George says:

          During the last 20 years I have seen many performances with Mehta, and I have enjoyed every one of them. He also was a wonderful music director in Munich.

          My guess is that Mehta has conducted 4000-5000 performances over the last 60 years. Among them probably 50-60 so called “events” (e.g. The Three Tenors twice, Bocelli concerts, some opera films.
          If he makes good money, I am happy for him, because I am happy for EVERY classical artist who makes money – which is still a lot less than any actor or soccer player gets.
          But I think it would be fair to say that Mehta is probably also the conductor who’s done the most Charity concerts.
          He’s been for decades with the IPO and in Florence, even though artists sometimes wait months to get paid in Florence (including Mehta), and I am positive the IPO is also not paying millions, nor are the Vienna Philharmonic. He’s 100% loyal to his musicians and very generous.

          The orchestras love him, the audience loves him. Mehta is a kind and friendly human being, polite and generous to everyone, from the top class artists to the theatre cleaning lady.

          To say that he’s not done anything “notable” musically in the last three decades is your personal opinion – but it is not shared by everyone.
          Mehta (and Barenboim) is one of the very few conductors who have a repertoire that spans from Baroque to world premieres. In a time when most conductors tend to specialise in ancient music, modern music, Wagner or else, I deeply admire Mehta’s variety, hard work, musicianship, interpretations and I am grateful for many, many performances and so are millions of people around the world.

          • Olassus says:

            Repertory vastness often correlates with interpretive shallowness, and in Mehta’s case we know of no “center” to his repertory. One of his famous recordings, the Kingsway Hall Turandot, is actually led with no understanding at all of Puccini’s idiom, a triumph only of coordination and casting.

          • barry guerrero says:

            Oh please. It’s been the ‘benchmark’ Turandot for decades.

          • George says:


          • Olassus says:

            Actually it was never a benchmark for its conducting, and when Karajan’s arrived demonstrating everything it lacked, the best the British brainwashers could do was attack Ricciarelli.

            Puccini operas, like Strauss tone poems, need a “conductor,” as you know.

          • barry guerrero says:

            To each their own.

    • Danny Kaiser says:

      If you just heard, couple of years ago, his Traviata with IPO and soprano Eva Mei, you would vave never said something of that kind, let alone his Mahlers & Brahmses

  • Anonymous says:

    Does one ‘see’ a conductor, or ‘hear’ the interpretation by a conductor? At Bayreuth, of course, it has to be the latter. “Seeing” a conductor is often said with a kind of self-satisfaction, akin to bragging, of having seen an elephant balancing precariously on top of Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      I totally agree, not only about conductors, but about any musicians. One doesn’t see the music, unless one has the rare ability to read a score and imagine the music. Very few can.

  • M2N2K says:

    As an orchestral musician who has had the pleasure of participating in several dozens of performances with Zubin Mehta, practically all of which were no less than very fine including some that were particularly outstanding, I strongly agree with most of “george”’s comment above here and I certainly look forward to Maestro’s return to conducting as soon as possible and in the best of health.

  • Wiener says:

    Bravo George

  • Barbara Todres says:

    Zubin Mehta Is the very best conductor on earth and I have attended his Performances ever since he conducted the New York Philharmonic.
    I have as many of his videos I can find and am working on attending all his CDs but that will take a long time because he has so many beautiful ones. I have his books as well and read them thoroughly. I only wish I could have seen him play the cello. I wish him a full and speedy recovery and for him to come back conducting if he wishes to in the very best of health. I wish him and Nancy a beautiful summer with their family. All best to them And I miss Zubin Mehta dearly. He is pretty easy on the eyes too And will certainly be known in history as the handsomest and sexiest maestro ever in the world as well as being one if it’s true GREATEST ARTISTS. I also find every one of his interviews fascinating and brilliant from television and all around the world of which appeared on YouTube. So glad he chose the music field instead of becoming a surgeon of which was his original consideration. I also hope his brother Who headed the New York Philharmonic is doing well and I met him at Lorin Maazel’s