Lorin Maazel

The family of Lorin Maazel paid tribute to his life and career last Friday in an event at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. Hundreds turned out to honor the late conductor including icons from Hollywood and the classical music world along with members of royalty.

Maazel, who passed away this summer, was one of the world’s most esteemed conductors, devoting his life to music professionally for 73 years. Maazel served as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic while enjoying close associations with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, and the Vienna Philharmonic. He was also a highly regarded composer, with a wide-ranging catalog of works written primarily over the last 15 years.

Alan Gilbert

Alan Gilbert

One of his successors, Alan Gilbert, the current Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, spoke at the tribute and said, “He was a true icon and deservedly so.”

Other speakers members of the Maazel family and Sir James Wolfensohn who noted he was only given five minutes to sum up Maazel’s life which is said would be an impossible task.

The celebrated flutist Sir James Galway performed as did soprano Jennifer Black and baritone Paul LaRosa who sang the Love duet from Maazel’s 1984.

DSC_0148-B1W6272-Ilann Maazel

Ilaan Maazel

Another performer included Maazel’s son Ilann Maazel who said, “My father had seven children, three wives, and performed 5000 concerts. I’d say that was a full life.” He then played Chopin’s Valse in A Minor which he said was the last piece he had ever played for his father.

A quintet from the New York Philharmonic performed and closing the tribute was jazz great Wynton Marsalis who played a Spiritual and then a rousing When The Saints Go Marching In.

Another of Maazel’s sons, Orson Maazel, told of his father’s commitment to philanthropy having performed countless concerts for charity throughout his lifetime and his devotion to vegetarianism which he was moved to do because Orson had been a vegan for some time.

Among the capacity crowd were F. Murray Abraham, Alec Baldwin, Agnes Gund, Yanna Avis, Daisy Soros, Peter Duchin, Peter Gelb, Zarin Mehta, Cia Toscanini, HRH Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, and HRH Princess Michael of Kent.

Sir James Galway

Sir James Galway

The event was overseen by Maazel’s wife Dietlinde Turban Maazel. She is the co-founder, with her late husband, of Castleton Festival, which benefits over 300 young musicians yearly. The Festival takes place in the rolling hills of Rappahannock County, Virginia, on the Maazel Family’s 600-acre farm. The Festival will serve as an enduring memorial.

The New York event can be viewed online here.

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