Monday, July 14, 2014

Lorin Maazel
(1930–2014)


New York Philharmonic
The death, at his home in Virginia, of Lorin Maazel follows the losses in short succession of three other leading conductors of the post-Bernstein/ Karajan era: Colin Davis (1927–2013), Claudio Abbado (1933–2014), and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (1933–2014). I had meant to post, a few weeks ago, a short piece on Claudio Abbado and the youth-orchestra movement (European Union Youth Orchestra, 1978; Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, 1986), flourishing long before Dudamel and El Sistema—but that will need to come along later.

Maazel was the only American of this bunch: raised in Pittsburgh (though born in Neuilly/s/S), educated there, and at length conductor of three of the nation's great orchestras: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and New York. His last chapter centers on the Castleton Festival that he organized at his farm in rural Rappahannock Countypaid for with the sale of his eighteenth-century violin. It was the project of a remarkable heart and mind: “more than a labor of love,” he said: “a labor of joy.” The published mission of his foundation is “to nurture children, foster art, and reclaim the human spirit.”

Here are a some memorial essays not to miss:

                                                                                                   —DKH

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