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Lorin Maazel, noted conductor and music director, dies at 84

Lorin Maazel led the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood on Aug. 3, 2012.
Lorin Maazel led the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood on Aug. 3, 2012.Boston Symphony Orchestra

Lorin Maazel, the distinguished American conductor and former music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony, died on July 13 from complications following pneumonia. The news was announced on Sunday afternoon by the Castleton Festival, a festival he ran on his Virginia farm. He was 84.

A child prodigy born in Paris, Mr. Maazel began his life in music studying violin. Later as a conductor admired for his unsurpassed stick technique, he became one of the most visible and active maestros of his generation, and one of the most powerful figures in the classical music industry.


Mr. Maazel made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in 1960, and led the BSO in over two-dozen performances over the course of his career. He had been scheduled to lead the BSO on its Asian tour this spring before he withdrew following an undisclosed accident. After canceling many other performances this spring and summer for health-related reasons, Mr. Maazel emerged to address an opening night crowd at his Castleton Festival on June 28, telling the audience, according to a festival statement, that his work with the young musicians was "more than a labor of love – a labor of joy."