Zubin says thanks and farewell

Zubin says thanks and farewell


norman lebrecht

October 04, 2019

‘I have spent more than half my life in this beloved country of Israel’.

It ends in tears.



  • Esther Cavett says:

    All very nice, but his glory days are long gone.

    Am looking forward to the new leadership of Lahav Shani.

    IPO desperately needs this new blood

  • Olassus says:

    Well done.

  • Michael in Missouri says:

    I will confess that that choked me up a little …

  • Vaquero357 says:

    What a gracious, eloquent farewell! Clicked on this at work while I was opening mail, and I had to stop. Wiping tears away afterward myself.

    Mehta took a lot of critical hits over the years, but at his best he was/is a formidable conductor: Excellent work building up the LA Phil into a very fine orchestra, any time he conducted opera (I think Mehta’s true metier – wish he had done far more), and of course with the Israel Philharmonic. The NY Philharmonic and he weren’t the happiest match, and yes, he phoned in a fair number of performances in Avery Fisher Hall, but then we’d hear him guesting in Vienna, or back in Israel, or with some other major orchestra, and we’d realize, “Oh yes, this fellow really has talent.”

    Let’s hope this is not farewell but merely au revoir.

    • MacroV says:

      I often found him a little boring and stale with the Philharmonic, but two top orchestras whose members had no obligation to invite him back – Berlin and Vienna – did so regularly.

  • Sergiu Schwartz says:

    Maestro Zubin Mehta is one of the most recognized, beloved, talented conductor, leaving his IPO position of more than 50 years with his sincere and dignified message! From the large family of admiring musicians, wishing him good health and much happiness!❤️

  • MacroV says:

    I’ve never been much of a fan of the Israel Philharmonic because it seems, repertoire-wise, to be extremely hidebound and conservative, playing what its Central European Jewish refugees would have wanted to hear 90 years ago in Berlin or Warsaw. Israel today is a modern and innovative society, and you would hope its repertoire and general approach would reflect that.

    I would have hoped, at least, they would have taken a “they killed our people, but they’ll never kill our culture” approach and, say, championed the composers killed or suppressed by the Nazis and the Soviets: Goldschmidt, Krenek, Krasa, Weinberg, and others.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Hard to watch this with a dry eye. Among high profile orchestras and conductors, Zubin Mehta at the IPO must have had by far the longest current tenure.

    What made them appoint him music director for life in the 1960s?

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Mehta is a wonderful musician whose star faded too soon. Maybe it was New York that did it. Good fortune for Israel and Munich that he spent so much time there. LA hired him when he was a kid – and he had the talent as his many fine recordings reveal. I will always be grateful to him for that magnificent, and still unequaled, account of Franz Schmidt’s 4th symphony. And a great Star Wars record, too!

  • Has-been says:

    A classy and dignified farewell !!

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Very moving; thank you Zubin Mehta for your decades-long commitment to great music, your skill and dedication. Mazel tov.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    I ended watching that video in tears also.
    Does this mean Zubin is retiring from conducting altogether?
    In my opinion, Zubin OWNED the Mahler 2nd Symphony. His Vienna Phil recording for Decca, and the live one with the NY Phil in their Mahler box, are unsurpassed and rarely equaled.
    Good luck, Maestro, for whatever you have planned for the future.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    He is one of those rare conductors who got better as he aged.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    He and Barenboim talk almost identically in intonation, speed and facial mannerisms

    • Cate says:

      In our opinion, that’s the -only- resemblance.

      We adore and so admire Maestro Zubin; and as someone has already stated, “Mazel Tov, Maestro!” . . .

      We wish you many, many more thoroughly enjoyable and genius performances, as we look forward to attending as many as possible!


  • Malcolm Shifrin says:

    Todah Rabah Maestro!

  • Anne Saul says:

    Thank you Zubi Mehta for your love for Israel and your great dedication .
    You will always be remembered as the wondeful and longest serving conductor in Israel.
    You were indeed our greatest Ambassador!
    We hope it is au revoir and not good bye. A million thanks!

  • Bernard Caplan says:

    Indeed a sad farewell from the honorary member of the Kosher Nostra of music.
    He looks & sounds unwell, face bloated by steroids & obviously short of breath.
    Wishing the great Zubin a refuah shlemah.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    My question still stands:
    Is the great Zubin Mehta retiring from conducting altogether, or just from the Israel Phil Conductor-For-Life position?
    Bernard Caplan’s sympathetic comment troubles me, as I have not followed ZM’s recent physical appearance.
    And being Italian, I don’t know what “refuah shlemah” is, but judging from the context it sounds good and positive, so I say also: a refuah shlemah from me too, Zubin!
    (P.S.: No disrespect to you, Bernard, but I have never liked that label “Kosher Nostra”. It has always seemed demeaning and vaguely big-brothery to me. And that has nothing to do with me being Italian.)