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Zubin Mehta
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Conductor
    (April 29, 1936- )
    Born in Mumbai, India
    Musical director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (1961-67), the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1962-78), the New York Philharmonic (1978-91), and the Israeli Philharmonic (1977-2019)
    Conducted the orchestra for several Three Tenors concerts (1990-94)
    He initially studied medicine at the urging of his mother, who wanted him to follow a 'respectable' career; he dropped out after two years, moved to Vienna, and began studying music.
    He admitted to fathering a son out of wedlock in Israel.
    He dismissed suggestions that he would be named conductor of the New York Philharmonic by declaring, 'Artistically, it would not be a step up for me. My orchestra is better than the New York Philharmonic.' (A glance at the profile credentials will show that he changed his mind at some point.)
    He joked about his long association with Israel, 'I would convert to Judaism if the operation didn't hurt so much.'
    While a student, he organized an orchestra from exiles fleeing the Hungarian Revolution, and conducted them in a refugee camp outside of Vienna (1956).
    He won first prize at the Liverpool International Conductors Competition, defeating a hundred contestants (1958).
    He was the youngest musical director of a major North American symphony orchestra.
    He gets a shout out in the song 'Billy the Mountain' by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
    He established a foundation to promote music education in Mumbai (1995) and a music education program for Israeli Arabs (2009).

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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