A true friend of the Belgrade Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta is always ready to support the orchestra that he first conducted at the very beginning of his career and with which he has further strengthened connections in the new millennium. One of today’s most distinguished conductors, Mehta has fostered a special relationship with the Belgrade Philharmonic and keeps returning to Belgrade to build friendship that has long since surpassed the boundaries of music and art. The Maestro has directed the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra eight times, most recently as the special guest at the First Open Air Concert in 2017.
Previously, during his visit in June 2013, Mehta helped with the fulfilment of the orchestra’s old dream. The Gala Concert was the first part of the event that night, followed by donors’ dinner, at which the orchestra raised $599,670, making the first step towards the first U.S. tour, which was successfully realized in October 2014.
The conductor who recently celebrated half a century of working with the Vienna and Berlin philharmonic orchestras, as well as the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in which he holds the position of Music Director for Life, has always supported and believed in the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. His collaboration with the members of the Belgrade-based orchestra creates an atmosphere dominated by friendship and delight in music creation. Zubin Mehta always gives up his fees in favour of the Belgrade Philharmonic Foundation, of which he is the honorary president.
Every time he returns to Belgrade, Mehta takes the opportunity to remind the public of the necessity of building a new concert hall, which would be the home of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra and a symbol of Belgrade recognizable on the city’s skyline.
“I have felt a special connection with the Belgrade Philharmonic since my first guest appearance here in 1958 and I have watched with keen interest the development of this charming orchestra, especially after the year 2000. Spearheaded by Ivan Tasovac, the Belgrade Philharmonic has truly evolved into one of Europe’s best orchestras and it certainly deserves every support it can get. The idea of building a new concert hall is undoubtedly vitally important for this brilliant ensemble and it is, therefore, essential to finally give the orchestra a new home, one that it truly deserves.”
Visiting Belgrade in 2010, Maestro Mehta also gave up the royalties for his autobiography The Score of My Life, published by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra as part of its publishing activities. During that visit, Mehta was named the honorary president of the Foundation, which has proudly borne his name since – Zubin Mehta Belgrade Philharmonic Foundation.
In 2005, Mehta initiated the establishment of the fund for procurement of instruments. The fund was named after the great Maestro and served as the basis for replenishment of the orchestra’s stock of instruments.
During his most recent visit, Mehta expressed his wish to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his first arrival in Belgrade. We are looking forward to the reunion in 2018!
Film: Zubin Mehta and the Belgrade Philharmonic – Neverending Story