Zubin Mehta was born in 1936 in Bombay and received his first musical education under his father’s Mehli Mehta’s guidance, who was a noted concert violinist and the founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. He left for Vienna in 1954 where he eventually entered the conducting programme under Hans Swarowsky at the Akademie für Musik. Zubin Mehta won the Liverpool International Conducting Competition in 1958 and was also a prize-winner of the summer academy at Tanglewood. By 1961 he had already conducted the Vienna, Berlin and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras.
Zubin Mehta was Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1961 to 1967 and also assumed the Music Directorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 1962. In 1969 he was appointed Music Adviser to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and was made Music Director of that orchestra in 1977. In 1981 the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra awarded him the title of Music Director for life. In 1978 he took over the post as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic commencing a tenure lasting 13 years, the longest in the orchestra's history.
Zubin Mehta made his debut as an opera conductor with Tosca in Montreal in 1963. Since then he has conducted at the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala Milano, and the opera houses of Chicago and Florence as well as at the Salzburg Festival. In October 2006 he opened the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia and was the President of the annual Festival del Mediterrani in Valencia until June 2014.
He is an honorary citizen of both Florence and Tel Aviv. The title of “Honorary Conductor” was bestowed to him by the following orchestras: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (2001), Munich Philharmonic Orchestra (2004), Los Angeles Philharmonic (2006), Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (2006), Staatskapelle Berlin (2014) and Bavarian State Orchestra (2006). In March 2011 Zubin Mehta received a special distinction, in getting a star on the Hollywood Boulevard. The Indian Government honoured him in September 2013 with the “Tagore Award for cultural harmony”.
He is a co-chairman of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Bombay. The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv develops young talent in Israel and is closely related to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as is a new project of teaching young Arab Israelis in the cities of Shwaram and Nazareth.
Source: Official Website
Catherine Malfitano - Tosca - Vissi d'arte
This is from a 1992 production in which Tosca was performed in the exact places of the libretto, in something close to real time. The orchestra was a few miles away.
1992, Conductor: Zubin Mehta.
For a free English translation, please see the following: