Saturday 5 March 2011
HOLLYWOOD — Zubin Mehta received the 2,434th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, coinciding with his 50th anniversary as a conductor.
Actor Kirk Douglas joined Mehta at the ceremony near the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. «What would the world do without music?» Douglas said. «Zubin has entertained millions of people all over the world.» Douglas said he considered Mehta a “mensch” because he and his wife came to visit the actor after he suffered a stroke.
The ceremony coincides with Mehta conducting the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight. Haydn’s Symphony N° 96 and Mahler’s Symphony N° 5 are on the bill.
At today’s ceremony, members of the Los Angeles, Israel and Vienna philharmonics performed in a tribute to Mehta.
Mehta was born April 29, 1936, in Bombay in a Parsi family. His father Mehli was a violonist and the founding conductor of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. When he was 16 years old, his father allowed him to conduct a Bombay Symphony rehearsal. Mehta left for Vienna in 1954 where he eventually entered the conducting program at the Akademie fur Musik. The same year he won the International Conducting Competition in Liverpool and was appointed assistant conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Mehta was the music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1961-67 and held the same post with the New York Philharmonic from 1978-1991, holding the post longer than anyone else.
Mehta was named music adviser to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969, its music director in 1977 and as its music director for life in 1981.