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Zarin Mehta Steps Down from the New York Philharmonic Today, Aug 31


Zarin Mehta, President and Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic, will step down upon the expiration of his current contract today, August 31, 2012, after 12 years of leadership, and shortly before his 74th birthday.

He became Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic on September 1, 2000, and was given the additional title of President in June 2004. He came to the New York Philharmonic for the final two seasons of Kurt Masur's tenure as Music Director, and led the institution during the acclaimed seven-season tenure of Lorin Maazel, beginning in September 2002. He also oversaw the selection and appointment of Alan Gilbert, who became the 25th Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2009.

"It has been the greatest privilege to serve the New York Philharmonic, an Orchestra and institution I have loved throughout my life," said Zarin Mehta. "During these years of highly demanding schedules, complex issues, and extensive travel itineraries, there has been one paramount and constant joy that makes all the responsibility worthwhile: listening to the musicians of the New York Philharmonic - with their Music Directors, guest conductors, and guest artists - make beautiful music on the highest level. There have been many gratifying moments during my tenure, but I can say, without hesitation, that my proudest achievement is the appointment of Alan Gilbert, which has set the institution on a course of evolution, a crucial key to a vital future for this historic organization. During these final two seasons, it is my intention to strengthen, support, and further cultivate the spectacular start Alan and the Orchestra have made together."

"Since my first collaborations with the New York Philharmonic in 2001, I have been extremely grateful for the unwavering encouragement and support of Zarin Mehta," said Alan Gilbert. "Growing up in music, I knew the legend of this man, but in these last years I have felt privileged to experience his erudite nature and consummate professionalism first hand. Most importantly, I've come to have the honor of his friendship. There is a sadness in knowing that there will only be two more years of our professional relationship at the Philharmonic, but I understand his decision. I look forward to his continued presence in my life and in the world of music - I'm sure that his vast experience and singular expertise will be of benefit to us for many years to come."

Zarin Mehta, one of the world's leading arts administrators, was appointed Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic in September 2000, and received the additional title of President in June 2004. Mr. Mehta has continually sought to enrich and broaden the musical experience of Philharmonic audiences by fostering an active commissioning program, and instituting innovative series of lectures and discussions. He has overseen major international Orchestra tours in Asia and throughout Europe, helping to make the Philharmonic a worldwide cultural ambassador. An event that highlighted this role was the historic February 2008 concert in Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Also under Mr. Mehta's aegis, the Philharmonic welcomed its first-ever Global Sponsor, Credit Suisse.

Mr. Mehta has maintained the Philharmonic's preeminent position in New York City's cultural life through the Free Annual Memorial Day Concerts at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine and the beloved summer series now known as the New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer. He has made outreach to young people a priority, continuing the famed Young People's Concerts, expanding the Orchestra's extensive educational activities, and introducing the Very Young People's Concerts, for children ages three to six. In addition, with the world's rapid embrace of new media, Mr. Mehta has championed important new initiatives to bring the Orchestra into the digital age, greatly enhancing its outreach and audience development efforts.

Mr. Mehta was born in Bombay in 1938. He is the son of the late violinist and Bombay Symphony Orchestra founder Mehli Mehta—who is largely credited with introducing western classical music to India. He is also the brother of the celebrated conductor Zubin Mehta, who was the New York Philharmonic's Music Director from 1978 to 1991.





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