New York Philharmonic

Lorin Maazel, Legendary Jewish Conductor, Dies at 84

A child prodigy, Maazel's career began at age 7.

07/14/2014
Staff Writer
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Lorin Maazel, internationally renowned conductor who led the New York Philharmonic, died on Sunday at his home in Virginia after suffering complications from pneumonia. He was 84.

Lorin Maazel, internationally renowned Jewish conductor, dies at 84. Wikipedia Commons.

Mahler's Ninth at 100: The New York Phil Gives It Its Due

Gustav Mahler was Jewish though not religious.  Yet he was superstitious.  When he began composing his ninth symphony, in 1908, he refused to name it by its number.  Many of his artistic heroes—Beethoven, Schubert, Bruckner—died before they could finish their ninth symphonies, so Mahler thought he would out-do fate and simply call it by another name.  He dubbed it “Das Lied von der Erde,” and its one of his best.

The Jewish Questions Meets The Shostakovich Question

My colleague George Robinson wrote an insightful piece on the upcoming "Babi Yar" symphony being performed by the New York Philharmonic this weekend.  I've never heard the symphony in full, but I look forward to hearing it this Thursday night.

Shostakovich’s Symphonic Shot At The Soviets

N.Y. Philharmonic to perform ‘Babi Yar,’ the composer’s public rebuke of the Kremlin.

10/25/2011
Special to the Jewish Week

There’s a special look that artists develop when they live under a brutal dictatorship. It’s a shiftiness in the eyes that comes from always looking behind to see who is listening and taking notes when they speak, write, paint, compose. Dmitri Shostakovich must have had that look down pat.

“He was on a list,” Victoria Bond says. “They must have watched his every move.”

Kurt Masur, music director emeritus of the New York Philharmonic.

Kanye's Antidote: On Yefim Bronfman, Fame and Humility

The star pianist Yefim Bronfman performs in New York often, but I have never seen him. That was rectified last night: I caught him in the first of three concerts with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall.  He was remarkable. Performing Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, he captured the full range of emotions in the piece--its subtle bits of humor, the breezy wistfulness, the heroic ambition--without drawing much attention to himself.

Felix Mendelssohn: A Jewish Christian, Discuss.

Tonight the New York Philharmonic begins the first of three "Elijah" performances.  They should all be magnificent, on purely aesthetic grounds.  But there's a deep theological divide embedded in this work too, and one that has profound implications for our understanding of how Jewish a composer -- if one at all -- Felix Mendelssohn was.

Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’: Both Sides Now

Was the German composer’s oratorio a nod toward his Jewish ancestry — or the full fruition of his Christian identity?

11/09/2010
Staff Writer

When the New York Philharmonic performs Felix Mendelssohn’s rarely heard “Elijah” (1846) oratorio this weekend, many will no doubt see it as proof that the composer always identified with his family’s Jewish faith.

Bass-baritone Gerald Finley sings the role of Elijah in the New York Philharmonic’s production of the oratorio.
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