Lorin Maazel

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Lorin Maazel (2006)

Lorin Varencove Maazel (born March 6, 1930 in Neuilly-sur-Seine , France , † July 13, 2014 in Castleton , Rappahannock County , Virginia ) was an American conductor , violinist and composer .


Maazel was born in France as the son of Lincoln Maazel (1903-2009) and Marion "Marie" Shulman Maazel (1894-1992). Both parents were US citizens and came from artistically active families who had immigrated from Russia . Maazel received piano and violin lessons at the age of five; later he studied orchestral conducting with Wladimir Bakaleinikoff in Pittsburgh . At the age of nine he conducted an orchestra publicly for the first time at the New York World's Fair . In the following years, the child prodigy Little Maazel conducted other orchestras in Los Angeles , Cleveland , Philadelphia , San Francisco and Chicago ; up to 8,500 people attended the concerts.

Between 1946 and 1950 he studied mathematics , philosophy and languages in Pittsburgh , continued his musical education and received a scholarship from the Fulbright Commission in 1952 , which brought him to Italy ; from there he gave several concerts in Europe ( Catania , Vienna , Berlin , Bayreuth ). In 1961 he toured Australia and in 1962 a North American tour. In 1964 he took over the Radio-Symphonie-Orchester (RSO) Berlin (today: Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin) from Ferenc Fricsay , which he led as chief conductor until 1975. From 1965 to 1971 he was also general music director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin .

Maazel worked repeatedly at the Salzburg Festival , where he conducted orchestral concerts and operas, especially noteworthy are Le nozze di Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , the opening performance of the Kleiner Festspielhaus , which was converted by Hans Hofmann and Erich Engels , in 1963 and the world premiere of Un re in ascolto by Luciano Berio in the summer of 1984.

On November 26, 1964 he made his debut as a conductor in the resumption of Beethoven's Fidelio at the Vienna State Opera . In 1966 he conducted Bizet's Carmen there , directed by Otto Schenk . He recorded this opera in 1982 with the Orchester National de France for the 1984 film of the same name by Francesco Rosi .

There were further engagements in London (1970–1972, New Philharmonia Orchestra , with Otto Klemperer ), Cleveland (1972–1982, Cleveland Orchestra , as chief conductor and artistic director) and Vienna (1982–1984, director of the Vienna State Opera), where In 1984 there was a rift with the Austrian bureaucracy . Maazel's idea of ​​introducing a block system - repertoire performances are rehearsed, played several times in a block and then canceled - met with much criticism, but is now one of the practices of international opera houses. In April 1984 Maazel prematurely ended his activities after the minister responsible at the time, Helmut Zilk, had appointed Maazel's successor as State Opera Director - Claus Helmut Drese .

In 1980 Maazel was invited for the first time by the Vienna Philharmonic to conduct the New Year's Concert . He headed it a total of eleven times, most recently in 2005.

In the following years he became music director of the Pittsburgh Orchestra (1988–1996), chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra (1993–2002) and, since 2002, as successor to Kurt Masur of the New York Philharmonic .

In November 2000 Maazel recorded the album Sentimento with Andrea Bocelli , which turned out to be one of the most successful classical albums in music history. The album was released in 2002 and sold about 3.5 million times.

In 2004 he conducted the New Year's Concert in Venice .

In 2006 he conducted several performances of Giacomo Puccini's Tosca at La Scala in Milan .

On February 26, 2008, he conducted a performance by the New York Philharmonic in North Korea's capital, Pyongyang . Since this is the first appearance of an American orchestra in the Communist People's Republic, this appearance is already considered historic.

By resolution of the Munich City Council on March 24, 2010, he was Chief Conductor of the Munich Philharmonic since the 2012 concert season . The contract was concluded for three years. Lorin Maazel's death in July 2014 made the position vacant prematurely.

Lorin Maazel died of complications from pneumonia on July 13, 2014 in Castleton, Virginia, two weeks after opening the Castleton Festival he co-founded.


His first marriage was to the pianist Miriam Sandbank, from whom the daughters Anjali and Daria emerged. In 1969 he married the pianist Israela Margalit for the second time . From this connection he has two children, son Ilann and daughter Fiona. Both marriages ended in divorce. In 1986 he married the German actress Dietlinde Turban for the third time . The three children together are the sons Orson and Leslie and the daughter Tara. Maazel was a grandfather of four.


  • Monaco Fanfares op.8 (1993)
  • Music for Violoncello and Orchestra op.10
  • Music for Flute and Orchestra op.11
  • Music for Violin and Orchestra op.12
  • Farewells . Symphonic Movement op.14 (1999)
  • The Giving Tree for orchestra, cello and narrator op.15 (1998)
  • The Empty Pot for orchestra, children's choir, boy soprano and narrator op.16 (1999)
  • Veronica - composition for the New York Philharmonic (1984, opera )
  • Irish Vapors an Capers (1994)
  • 1984 - Opera based on the novel 1984 by George Orwell (2005), from it: Suite 1984 (2010)



Web links

Commons : Lorin Maazel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Sara Bauknecht: Obituary: Lincoln Maazel / Performer and father of symphony conductor. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 23, 2009, accessed July 13, 2014 .
  2. Marion Maazel. variety.com, December 17, 1992, accessed July 13, 2014 .
  3. ^ Program booklet of the Vienna State Opera from November 26, 1964 as well as reviews
  4. WELT Online: ( Page no longer available , search in web archives: Stormy applause New York Philharmonic in Pyongyang. )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / newsticker.welt.de
  5. ( page no longer available , search in web archives: Maazel in Munich: Philharmonic celebrate new boss )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.stern.de
  6. Obituary on the Castleton Festival homepage: castletonfestival.org ( Memento of the original from July 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.castletonfestival.org
  7. ^ Obituary: Lorin Maazel died. In: The Standard
  8. a b c d e maestromaazel.com
  9. a b c CD Lorin Maazel: Works for Violin, Violoncello and Flute - BMG classics.
  10. Awards: DE AT
  11. List of all decorations awarded by the Federal President for services to the Republic of Austria from 1952 (PDF; 6.9 MB)
  12. Ring of Honor of the Vienna State Opera , on juwelier-wagner.at, accessed on June 21, 2018