Born in Bombay, Zubin Mehta grew up in a musical environment. His father, Mehli Mehta, founded the Bombay Symphony and was Music Director of the American Youth Symphony in Los Angeles. His initial field of study was in medicine, but he abandoned it at the age of eighteen to attend the Vienna Academy of Music. Seven years later, he conducted both the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics. He rapidly became one of the world's most sought after conductors, holding positions such as Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (1961-67), Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra (1962-78), Music Director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (1978-91) and Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera (1998-2006). The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra appointed Mehta Music Advisor in 1969, Music Director in 1977, and Music Director for Life in 1981. Combining concerts, recordings and tours, Zubin Mehta has conducted thousands of performances on five continents with the IPO. Since 1985, he has also acted as Chief Conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Italy, becoming Honorary Conductor for Life in 2006. Zubin Mehta has received countless awards and distinctions, including the Kennedy Center Honors, the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony in India, the Presidential Medal of Distinction from Israeli President Shimon Peres, the Praemium Imperiale from by the Japanese Imperial Family, Honorary Doctorates by the Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute in Israel, a special prize at the ceremony of the Israel Prize presentation and a special distinction with a star on Hollywood Boulevard. He is honorary citizen of both Florence and Tel Aviv and an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera and the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Wien. 2006 saw the publication in Germany and Israel of his autobiography, Die Partitur meines Leben: Erinnerungen (The Score of my Life: Memories).Zubin Mehta continues to support the discovery and furtherance of musical talents all over the world. Together with his brother Zarin he is co-chairman of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Bombay, where more than 200 children are educated in Western Classical Music.
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