Legendary conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Zubin Mehta, emotionally announced that he will retire as musical director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2019. At his retirement, Mehta will have served as the musical director of the Israel Philharmonic for 50 years.
He first came to the Israel Philharmonic in 1961, as a replacement for legendary conductor Eugene Ormandy. The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra appointed Mehta as musical advisor in 1969 and as musical conductor in 1977. In 1981, it extended his term for life. Maestro Mehta has conducted the Israel Philharmonic in thousands of concerts, recordings, and tours on five continents.
Several weeks ago, Maestro Mehta convened all of the Israel Philharmonic’s musicians and employees, and in an emotional announcement informed them that he intended to retire from his position at the orchestra in October 2019. He reviewed the Israel Philharmonic’s development since first coming to it, and praised the exceptional path it has taken over the years and its current level of excellence.
Maestro Mehta is greatly appreciated for his work with the Israel Philharmonic in particular and for his musical activity in general. He has been awarded numerous honorary degrees is several countries, including honorary doctorates from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. The Hebrew University has also named its Department for Musicology for him and his late father. In 1991, he was awarded a special Israel Prize. He won the 1995-96 Wolf Prize in the Arts.