Zubin Mehta returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his music directorship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Thursday, December 13, at 8 pm, Friday, December 14, at 11 am, Saturday, December 15, at 8 pm and Sunday, December 16, at 2 pm. Mehta leads the orchestra in the colorful and varied program that inaugurated his tenure in 1962.
Presenting orchestral masterpieces from three centuries, the concert begins with Mozart's Overture to Don Giovanni, one of the three operas resulting from the composer's collaboration with Lorenzo Da Ponte. The seven minute overture sets the tone for the dramatic tension between comedy and tragedy in the opera. Next is Hindemith's Symphony: Mathis der Maler, written before his opera (a fictional account of the life of Mathias Grunewald) that explored the question of the artist's role in society. The program closes with Dvo?ák's Symphony No. 7, which, following its premiere, prompted a reviewer to compare the composer's effect on the English public to that previously achieved only by Handel, Haydn and Mendelssohn.
Though he left the orchestra in 1978, Mehta maintains a close connection with the LA Phil, the audience and the city of Los Angeles. He frequently returns to guest conduct and recently performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Zubin Mehta was appointed music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 1962, at the age of 26, making him to date the youngest LA Phil music director at the time of his appointment. He served in the role until 1978. Following his time in Los Angeles, he served as music director of the New York Philharmonic for 13 years. During his decades as a conductor, Mehta has been hailed not only as a masterful musician, but also as an important humanitarian ambassador, bringing together cultures and countries in conflict through the power of music. Mehta first conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO) in 1961, substituting for Eugene Ormandy, and he became its Music Director in 1969.
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