Zubin Mehta comes to Singapore

15 September 2014 – One of the world’s greatest conductors Zubin Mehta, will conduct the highly acclaimed Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on 11 November 2014 at the MasterCard Theatres, Marina Bay Sands. The maestro first performed in Singapore 25 years ago with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2005 with the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. The one-night-only concert in November will be the first time the Israel Philharmonic performs in the island state. It is organised by SunVic Productions and part of the Israel Philharmonic’s five-country Asian tour.

With principal sponsor Swiber, financial institution sponsor Bank J. Safra Sarasin and venue sponsor Marina Bay Sands, the concert is also supported by OUE Limited, Channel News Asia, Symphony 92.4FM and is part of the SG50 celebrations. In addition to the concert, the Israel Philharmonic will commemorate Singapore’s 50th anniversary with a variety of community activities which will be announced shortly. “We are very excited to introduce for the first time ever, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra with Maestro Zubin Mehta to Singapore for its 50th anniversary, as a kick-off to many celebrations to come,” said HE Ms Yael Rubinstein, Israeli Ambassador to Singapore. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be able to host such an accomplished orchestra and a conductor who, at 78 years old, continues to awe classical music fans in cultural capitals around the world,” said Michelle Sassoon, COO, SunVic Productions Pte Ltd.

The Programme

The Israel Philharmonic, under the baton of Maestro Mehta, will perform three works: Vivaldi’s Concerto in B minor for Four Violins, Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 (Linz) and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. The “Linz” Symphony, written by Mozart in Linz, Austria, in four days, begins with a slow intensity, building up to a fiery allegro and a finale that races at breakneck speed, demanding Mehta’s masterful control of all the orchestral elements. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 mirrors this emotionally charged build-up and is a narrative that blossoms from tragedy to rousing triumph. It is a stirring performance, first recorded by Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic as early as 1964. The programme will display Mehta’s mastery of his craft and an intimate, intuitive understanding of an orchestra which he has conducted for over 45 years, having handpicked each of its 110 musicians.

About Zubin Mehta

Zubin Mehta is widely regarded as one of the finest conductors in the world. He is known for his technique and a conducting style often described as impassioned, forceful and flamboyant. In an interview with The Business Times in 1989, during his last visit to Singapore for a concert at the Padang, he said, “If I could tour for 12 months, I would.” 25 years on, the maestro, now 78 years old, shows no signs of slowing down. He begins his Asian tour with the Israel Philharmonic in Bangkok on 20 October, followed by South Korea, Japan and Singapore, ending in China on 16 November. “Asia is close to my heart and I have fond memories of my visit to Singapore with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, so I’m eager to tour Asia and visit Singapore again, this time with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,” he said.

Born in Bombay in 1936, Mehta had conducted the Vienna, Berlin and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras by the age of 25. In 1981 he was awarded the title of Music Director for Life by the Israel Philharmonic and has since conducted the orchestra in over 3,000 concerts with artists like Andrea Bocelli, Renée Fleming, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, and the late Isaac Stern. He is also Honorary Conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and the Bavarian State Orchestra. Among his extensive list of awards are the Vienna Philharmonic’s ring of honour the Nikisch Ring, bequeathed to him by the late legendary conductor Karl Böhm, the Tagore Award for cultural harmony bestowed upon him by the Indian Government, and the Praemium Imperiale awarded by the Imperial family of Japan.

In 2011 he also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has devoted much of his energy to fostering young musical talent and is co-chairman of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Mumbai where children are educated in western classical music. He is also Honorary President of The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv where the best young musicians are trained for professional careers.

The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

In the same year Mehta was born, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was founded by Jewish violinist Bronislaw Huberman who foresaw the Holocaust and persuaded 75 Jewish musicians from the major European orchestras to immigrate and form their own orchestra. This became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1948. In its relatively short history, the orchestra of 110 members, each personally chosen by Mehta, has emerged as a world-class ensemble. It is highly regarded and performs at cultural centres and prestigious festivals around the world.

For more information about Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in concert, please visit www.facebook.com/ZubinMehtaInSG.

Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Date & time: Tues, 11 Nov 2014, 7:30pm
  • Venue: MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands
  • Price: $90, $150, $250, $350 and $450,
  • Book: http://www.marinabaysands.com (also available at all SISTIC channels)
  • Info: www.facebook.com/ZubinMehtaInSG

Top image credit: Zubin Metha’s Facebook Page.