Today, Zubin Mehta conducted his first rehearsal with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra in preparation for the upcoming Gala concert at Kolarac Hall on Tuesday, June 20, celebrating the orchestra’s centennial. The concert, which sold out within a few days, marks the beginning of their regional tour as part of the Open Balkan initiative. Following the Belgrade performance, the legendary conductor will lead the Philharmonic Orchestra in concerts in Tirana on June 22 and Skopje on June 24.

Whenever one of the greatest conductors of our time arrives, a special atmosphere fills the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. This time was no exception, as excitement grew ahead of the maestro’s eleventh collaboration with the orchestra. At the beginning of the first rehearsal, Mehta was warmly welcomed by the musicians with thunderous applause, and in turn, he congratulated them on their jubilee and greeted them in Serbian.

“Congratulations on your anniversary, happy 100th birthday. I am delighted to be here once again, enjoying observing all of you”, Mehta conveyed to the orchestra.

The program for all three concerts includes Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, the latter being featured in Mehta’s inaugural concert with the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra back in 1958. After the Gala concert at Kolarac on June 20, the tour will continue with performances at the National Opera House in Tirana on June 22 and at the Macedonian Philharmonic in Skopje on June 24.

As a close friend of the Belgrade Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta is always eager to support the orchestra. It was with the BPO that he first performed at the start of his career, further deepening his ties with them in the new millennium. Maestro Mehta cherishes special relationships with the Belgrade Philharmonic and consistently returns to Belgrade, fostering a friendship that extends far beyond the realms of music and art.