Zubin Mehta was born in 1936 in Bombay and received his first musical education under his father’s Mehli Mehta’s guidance. He left for Vienna in 1954 where he eventually entered the conducting programme under Hans Swarowsky. Zubin Mehta won the Liverpool International Conducting Competition in 1958 and was also a prize-winner of the summer academy at Tanglewood. By 1961 he had already conducted the Vienna, Berlin and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras, being nominated Music Director of the latter in 1977 and the Music Director for Life in 1981.
Zubin Mehta assumed the Music Directorship of the New York Philharmonic in 1978, a post he retained for 13 years. After his operatic debut with Tosca in Montreal in 1963, he conducts at the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala Milano, and the opera house of Chicago as well as at the Salzburg Festival. Zubin Mehta made his debut as an opera conductor with Tosca in Montreal in 1963 and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. He establishes a special relationship with the latter: in fact, he has been the Principal Conductor of the Florentine Orchestra since 1985, and its Honourary Conductor for Life since 2006. Zubin Meta was Artistic Director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival in 1986. Along with conducting orchestra’s numerous important operatic and symphony productions, Zubin Mehta also guides the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino through frequent international tours and prestigious discographic releases.
Between 1998 and 2006 he was Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, with over 400 performances and tours in Europe and Japan. Zubin Mehta’s list of awards and honours is extensive and includes the “Nikisch-Ring”. He is an honorary citizen of both Florence and Tel Aviv and was made an honourary member of the Vienna State Opera. He received the “Lifetime Achievement Peace and Tolerance Award” from the UN in 1999. The title of “Honorary Conductor” was bestowed to him by the following music institutions: Wiener Philharmoniker in 2001, Münchner Philharmoniker nel 2004, and Los Angeles Philharmonic and Bayerische Staatsoper in 2006. His name was placed in the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, and he received Furtwängler prize and Echo Klassik. In 2012 Shimon Peres decorates him with Israel Medal of Distinction.