(JTA) — Conductor Lorin Maazel, a prodigy who served as music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera, has died.
Maazel died Sunday at his home in Castleton, Va., from complications of pneumonia at the age of 84.
He had been rehearsing for the annual the Castleton Festival, which is held on his farm.
Maazel, who was a child prodigy in conducting and conducted an orchestra for the first time at the age of 9, had served as artistic director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, general manager of the Vienna State Opera and music director of the Radio Symphony of Berlin, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic.
He also was a composer.
Maazel’s parents, Lincoln Maazel and Marion (Marie) Shulman Maazel, were American-born children of Russian Jews. He was born in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, where his parents were studying.
He began studying piano at age 5 and violin at 7, and then studied conducting in Los Angeles with Vladimir Bakaleinikoff, following him to Pittsburgh. At the age of 9 he conducted the Interlochen music camp orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.
During his decades-long career Maazel conducted more than 150 orchestras in at least 5,000 opera and concert performances, according to his personal website. He made more than 300 recordings, including symphonic cycles of complete orchestral works by Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Mahler, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Richard Strauss.
His death was announced on his personal website and on the website of the Castleton Festival.