Zubin Mehta - The Unexpected Leader of Israeli Music
Updated: Jun 1
All you classical music lovers out there have probably heard of the name Zubin Mehta - especially those here in Israel! Even if classical hits aren't your thing, you may have heard Mehta's name out and about! And if not, today is your lucky day!
Zubin Mehta is a world-renown orchestral conductor, born in Mumbai (then Bombay), India, in 1936. As the son of a musician who established the Mumbai Symphony Orchestra, Mehta naturally intended on studying to be a...you guessed it - Doctor. But he quickly made the switch to music and went to study in Vienna. In 1958, the same year that he made his first stage appearance, he won the international conducting competition. It was pretty clear he was no ordinary guy!
Mehta went on to begin his illustrious career and became the lead conductor of many large symphonies, such as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, as well as in Los Angeles and New York. In 1961, his connection to Israel began, as he was appointed the conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. 20 years later, in 1981, Zubin Mehta was named the Musical Manager of the Philharmonic for the rest of his life. Pretty serious if you ask us.
He has traveled with the Philharmonic and played in places all across Israel, from little unknown towns in the south to the large halls in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and even in the IDF bases. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorate degrees from several universities, and even has a star in his name, in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We like to believe that's because of his work in Israel.
After declaring that 2019 will be his last year conducting the Israeli Philharmonic, he unfortunately for us, conducted his last concert on October 20th of that year.
So although he isn't technically Israeli, Zubin Mehta is considered an Israeli hero. He has brought the classical music genre in Israel to International standards, and we are proud to call him one of our own! Watch him work his magic here!