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Classicsonline Home » Artists » » Maazel, Lorin

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Lorin Maazel (b1930)


Born in France to American parents (his father was an actor), Lorin Maazel was brought up and educated in America. When he was four years old he was discovered to possess perfect pitch and a photographic memory, and the following year he began to study the violin and piano. Two years later he started to study conducting, with Vladimir Bakaleinikoff in Pittsburgh, and appeared publicly for the first time in 1938, leading a university orchestra: by the next year he was conducting the Interlochen Orchestra at the New York World’s Fair, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, sharing a programme with Leopold Stokowski who dubbed him ‘the prodigy of the century’. Two years later he was invited by Toscanini to conduct the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Maazel made his New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducting debut in 1942 at the Lewisohn Stadium, the former summer venue of the orchestra, and in 1943 he made his conducting debuts with the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. He entered the University of Pittsburgh in 1947 to study languages, mathematics, and philosophy; and while a student, he was also a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, was its apprentice conductor during the 1949–1950 season, and organized the Fine Arts Quartet of Pittsburgh, in which he played the first violin.

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