Maazel, illustrious conductor, former child prodigy, dies at 84



Lorin Maazel, who began his career as a child prodigy and went on to conduct many of the world’s great orchestras, has died at age 84.

Maazel died Sunday in Virginia. He had been at his home, Castleton Farms, preparing for his annual music festival, according to organizers.

His death came a month after he resigned with a “heavy heart” from his position as music director of the Munich Philharmonic, citing health concerns.

At the time he thanked the many fans who had asked him to keep conducting and said he hoped to return after this season, as well as accept “occasional appearances along the way.”

Over the course of his career, Maazel conducted an average of two concerts a week for more than 70 years with more than 200 orchestras.

He was born in Paris on March 6, 1930, to American parents. In 1932, the musical family moved to Los Angeles where he played violin with the Karl Moldrem Baby Orchestra.

At 7, the young violinist also began studying conducting under Russian maestro Vladimir Bakaleinikoff. From ages 9 to 12, he conducted several major U.S. orchestras, including Arturo Toscanini’s NBC Symphony Orchestra.

A 1939 performance at the Hollywood Bowl was among his first in public and he told The Los Angeles Times in 2010 that he always had an affinity for L.A.

He was the first American to be principle conductor of the Vienna State Opera.