Conductor Zubin Mehta takes final bow with Israeli orchestra

Jerusalem (AFP) –


Superstar conductor Zubin Mehta, 83, takes to the Tel Aviv stage on Sunday for his final performance as music director of the Israel Philharmonic, retiring after 50 years with the orchestra.

The performance of Liszt's Piano Concerto No.2 and Mahler's Resurrection Symphony is to be streamed live on pay-to-view portal

He will be joined by pianist Yefim Bronfman as well as soprano Chen Reiss and mezzo-soprano Okka von der Damerau.

It is scheduled for 2:00 pm (1100 GMT) at the Mediterranean city's Charles Bronfman Auditorium.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra appointed Mehta music advisor in 1969, music director in 1977, and music director for life in 1981.

His official biography says that during his tenure, "Mehta has conducted over 3,000 concerts with this extraordinary ensemble including tours spanning five continents."

He has simultaneously had other strings to his bow.

He was music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1962 to 1978 and of the New York Philharmonic from 1978 to 1991.

During his time in New York, he conducted more than 1,000 concerts, according to the New York Philharmonic website, which says his tenure "was the longest in the orchestra's history."

He has conducted other orchestras around the world, including in Austria, Germany and Italy.

Born in Mumbai, India, on April 29, 1936, Mehta grew up in a musical environment.

His father, Mehli Mehta, founded the Bombay Symphony and was music director of the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles.

Together with his brother Zarin, he is a co-chairman of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Mumbai, where children are educated in western classical music.