Lorin Maazel (President and Artistic Director)
For over five decades, Lorin Maazel has been one of the world’s most esteemed and sought-after conductors. He is completing two prominent music directorships at the end of the 2008-09 season. He is in his seventh and final season as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, which is not only the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States but also the world’s most prolific, having given over 14,000 concerts since its founding. At the other end of the historical spectrum, Maestro Maazel is Music Director of the 3-year-old Palau de les Arts “Reina Sofia,” the spectacular, Santiago Calatrava-designed opera house in Valencia, Spain.
Maestro Maazel is also a highly regarded composer, with a wide-ranging catalogue of works written primarily over the last dozen years. His first opera, 1984, based on George Orwell’s literary masterpiece, had its world premiere at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in May 2005, and was broadcast on radio and television by the BBC and on many other national radio networks worldwide. It was revived to great acclaim at the Teatro alla Scala (Milan) in May 2008, and Decca released a special edition DVD of the opera the same month. Maestro Maazel’s compositional catalogue also includes a trilogy of concertos, Opp. 10, 11 and 12, “Music for Cello and Orchestra” (written for Mstislav Rostropovich) “Music for Flute and Orchestra” (written for James Galway) and “Music for Violin and Orchestra”; a symphonic movement (“Farewells,” Op. 14), premiered in 2000 by the Vienna Philharmonic, which commissioned the work; and several contributions to repertoire of narrated texts with orchestra, including two children’s stories, “The Giving Tree” and “The Empty Pot.”
A second-generation American born in Paris, Lorin Maazel began violin lessons at age five, and conducting lessons at age seven. He studied with Vladimir Bakaleinikoff, and appeared publicly for the first time at age eight, conducting a university orchestra. Between ages nine and fifteen, he conducted most of the major American orchestras, including the NBC Symphony at the invitation of Toscanini. At 17, he entered the University of Pittsburgh to study languages, mathematics and philosophy. In 1951 he went to Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship to further his studies, and two years later made his European conducting debut, stepping in for an ailing conductor at the Massimo Bellini Theatre in Catania, Italy. He quickly established himself as a major artist, appearing at Bayreuth in 1960 (the first American to do so), with the Boston Symphony in 1961, and at the Salzburg Festival in 1963.
In the years since, Maestro Maazel has conducted more than one hundred and fifty orchestras in no fewer than five thousand opera and concert performances. He has made over three hundred recordings, including symphonic cycles/complete orchestral works of Beethoven, Brahms, Debussy, Mahler, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Richard Strauss, winning 10 Grands Prix du Disques.
Alongside his prodigious performing activity, Maestro Maazel has found time to work with and nurture young artists, based on his strong belief in the value of sharing his experience with the next generation(s) of musicians. He founded a major competition for young conductors in 2000, culminating in a final round at Carnegie Hall two years later, and has since been an active mentor to many of the finalists (and instrumental in launching their international careers).
He has an equally strong commitment to environmental and humanitarian causes. He has raised millions of dollars on over fifty occasions for the benefit of such entities as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Wide Fund for Nature, the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). His visit to and concert in Pyongyang with the New York Philharmonic in February 2008 was a watershed in the relations between the United States and North Korea.
An avid reader, classic film buff, and theatergoer, he also enjoys playing tennis, swimming and collecting American paintings and Oriental art.
Dietlinde Turban-Maazel (Vice-President and co-Artistic Director)
Dietlinde Turban’s first stage appearance at the age of 19as Gretchen in Goethe’s Faust in the Residenz-Theatre in Munich broughther national fame. In rapid succession she starred in new productions of Lessing’s Minna von Barnhelm (as Minna), Shakespeare’s Othello (as Desdemona), for which she received the Bad Hersfeld Festival’s prize forbest actress, and in works of Anouilh, Giraudoux and others. She was invited asguest star at the State Theater in Bonn and the Josefstadt Theatre in Vienna.
Thanks to scores of films and plays filmed for television, Ms. Turban won Germany’s coveted Bambi Award by popular vote as Best Actress ofthe Year (1983).
Among her credits: the title role in Goethe’s Stella and Schiller’s Love and Intrigue (Luise), the role of Mozart’s sister-in-law Aloysia in the French film biography of the composer, a starring role in the American thriller Bloodline, and the part of Euridice in Jean-Pierre Ponnelle’s adaptation of Monteverdi’s Orfeo.
Her film credits include Die Kalte Heimat, Die Undankbare, Peter Schamoni’s The Castle in Königswald and the World War II story Mussolini and I, in which she played opposite Anthony Hopkins.
In 2004 Ms. Turban founded the New York based Crescent Theatre Company. She premiered Christopher Rothwell’s One Woman Play “Constantly Risking Absurdity” in Castleton and at the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York, performed it at the George Mason University and was also invited with this play to Salzburg, Austria, by the American Austrian Foundation. Recently the Crescent Theatre Co. merged with Kid Pan Alley (see www.kidpanalley.org).
Ms. Turban has recorded a number of audio books as well as CDs in collaboration with young composers. She also performs dramatic readings of literary masterpieces both in the United States and in Europe and regularly tours with recitals based on works by Andersen, Fontane, Heine, Kafka, Rilke, Schiller and Thomas Mann.
Ms. Turban studied violin, classical dance and voice in her home town Munich, Germany and in Aspen, Co. After a decade of an intense acting career she married the conductor Lorin Maazel and devoted much of her time to raising their three home-schooled children while traveling throughout the world. In 1996 she co-founded a private "charter" school on her Virginia estate, based on the holistic ideas of Rudolf Steiner, “The Hearthstone School”, and developed a pilot educational project designed to explore new ways of integrating vital artistic and aesthetic values into school curricula.
Ms. Turban coaches young opera singers in performance skills, song interpretation, German and French, and holds Acting Master Classes and Workshops in various summer programs.