Maazel, Lorin (Varencove)(1930– ) conductor; born in Neuilly, France. Brought as a child to the U.S.A. and raised in Los Angeles and Pittsburgh, he was a child prodigy as a violinist, pianist, and conductor; he made his conducting debut at age eight and at age 12 he conducted the New York Philharmonic. He stepped out of the limelight to study at the University of Pittsburgh and then embarked on further musical training and guest conducting, mostly in Europe; in 1960 he became the first American to conduct at Bayreuth. For many years he was based in Berlin—as musical director of the Deutsche Oper (1965–71) and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra (1965–75)—but he moved on to a series of conductorships, including the Cleveland Orchestra (from 1972), the Orchestre National de France, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Pittsburgh Symphony (from 1986). He is known for his exacting musicianship and intense interpretations of the classical repertoire.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.