Maazel back to Munich?
Well, that was a short retirement. Lorin Maazel, 79, who appeared to view his tenure at the New York Philharmonic as the culmination of an illustrious career, may be returning to Munich for a three-year, interim term as music director of the Munich Philharmonic, according to today's Süddeutsche Zeitung (as reported by MusicalAmerica.com).
He would succeed Christian Thielemann, who was unable to negotiate a contract to his liking and is leaving at the end of the 2011 season to take over the Dresden Staatskapelle. The orchestra has not officially announced the appointment, but Munich's mayor, Christian Ude, and his press spokespeople appear to have spilled the beans.
Maazel was for nine years music director of another, better orchestra in Munich, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra (Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, now led by Mariss Jansons). The Munich Philharmonic was long headed by the eccentric Sergiu Celibidache, whose quasi-mystical approach inspired a veritable cult following among some and left others unimpressed; James Levine then used it as a stepping-stone on his way to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, before Thielemann took over. But Munich is a comfortable city, and the Philharmonic pays well, and the Castleton Festival can't occupy all of Maazel's time and considerable energy.
Edited to add: I should have posted this earlier: Maestro Maazel's Facebook fan page includes this statement: "Though an approach was made by the city of Munich inquiring whether I'd consider the Music Director position of the Munich Philharmonic, there is no agreement in force in this respect at this time. I have no further comment."
Maazel, by the way, has an active presence on Facebook and Twitter, though he almost certainly does not write the majority of his posts himself.
February 24, 2010; 10:28 AM ET
Categories: international , news
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