The news that Maestro Zubin Mehta is to conduct in Sydney in 2013 is nothing short of thrilling. The charismatic conductor ranks amongst the world’s greatest. Born and raised in India, his career has spanned both operatic and symphonic repertoire in the most famous ‘houses’ of the world, and has transcended national boundaries. He is Music Director for life of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra as well sponsoring a new project of teaching young Arab Israelis in the cities of Shwaram and Nazareth; he is an honorary citizen of both Florence and Tel Aviv; he has been awarded the “Praemium Imperiale” by the Royal House of Japan; he even has has his own star on Hollywood Boulevarde. Memorably he took the baton for the first legendary three tenors concert in Rome, in 1990, sharing the stage with Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras in a production that heralded a more populist approach to opera.
Mehta has been to Sydney twice in recent times. In 2002 he conducted the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House; he returned with them in 2008, for three concerts featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No 6 (Pathétique), Mussorgsky’s, Pictures at an Exhibition, Beethoven’s Symphonies No 5 and 6 (Pastoral) and Mahler’s Symphony No 3.