Orchestra Of The Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Italy, 2024

Tour Dates: 17th June - 27th June, 2024

Founded in 1928 by Vittorio Gui as the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina, from its beginning the Orchestra plays in concerts and operas of the former Teatro Comunale of Florence, now Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

Tour Dates
  • 17th June - 27th June, 2024


Founded in 1928 by Vittorio Gui as the Stabile Orchestrale Fiorentina, from its beginning the Orchestra plays in concerts and operas of the former Teatro Comunale of Florence, now Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Today the Orchestra is still considered one of the finest orchestras both by conductors and audiences from all over the world. In 1933, on the birth of the Festival, it takes the actual name of Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

After Gui, the principal conductors were Mario Rossi (1937) and Bruno Bartoletti (after the Second World War). Fundamental chapters in the Orchestra history are the years from 1969 to 1981, were the position of princpal conductor was given to Riccardo Muti, then to Zubin Mehta, who became Principal conductor from 1985. In its history the Orchestra del Maggio was conducted by greatest conductors such as: Victor De Sabata, Antonio Guarnieri, Gino Marinuzzi, Gianandrea Gavazzeni, Tullio Serafin, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Issay Dobrowen, Jonel Perlea, Erich Kleiber, Arthur Rodzinski, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Thomas Schippers, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Carlo Maria Giulini, Georges Prêtre, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Carlos Kleiber, Georg Solti, Riccardo Chailly, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Seiji Ozawa, Daniele Gatti and Fabio Luisi, from April 2018 to July 2019 as principal conductor. Currently Daniele Gatti is the principal conductor and Zubin Mehta is the Honorary conductor for life.

So many composers conducted a premiere of their music pieces at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino such as: Richard Strauss, Pietro Mascagni, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Paul Hindemith, Igor Stravinskij, Goffredo Petrassi, Luigi Dallapiccola, Krzysztof Penderecki and Luciano Berio. Since the fifties, the Orchestra made numerous recordings, also for radio and television, which received major awards including, in 1990, the Grammy Award. At the eightieth anniversary of its foundation, the Orchestra receives the Fiorino d’Oro of the City of Florence.

Recent tournées at the Salzburg Festival for a symphonic concert and Tosca in concert form, conducted by Zubin Mehta; in Athens, at the Grafenegg Festival, in Budapest and Dubai for EXPO 2020. Recent the European tour with Zubin Mehta in Hamburg, Linz, Vienna, Luxembourg City, Muri and Dortmund and the two inaugural concerts of the new Auditorium of the Teatro del Maggio. In July 2022 he conducted the Orchestra and the Choir of the Maggio in the Concerto for Florence in the Cavea of ​​the Teatro del Maggio and a tournée in Piazza del Campo in Siena, Ravello, Rimini, Macerata and Marbella.

Recently, the Orchestra went on tour in Bucarest (for the Otello by Giuseppe Verdi and a concert) and i Bangkok (for a concert) always with Zubin Mehta.

On 22 December 2023, the Orchestra celebrate with a concert the 90 years since the foundation of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Chorus.

Zubin Mehta

Zubin Mehta was born in 1936 in Bombay and received his first musical education under his father’s Mehli Mehta’s guidance who was a noted concert violinist and the founder of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra. After a short period of pre-medical studies in Bombay, he left for Vienna in 1954 where he eventually entered the conducting programme under Hans Swarowsky at the Akademie für Musik. Zubin Mehta won the Liverpool International Conducting Competition in 1958 and was also a prize-winner of the summer academy at Tanglewood. By 1961 he had already conducted the Vienna, Berlin and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras and has recently celebrated 50 years of musical collaboration with all three ensembles.

Zubin Mehta was Music Director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1961 to 1967 and also assumed the Music Directorship of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 1962, a post he retained until 1978.

In October 2019 he celebrated his farewell with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to which he has served for 50 years. On this occasion he was named Music Director Emeritus of the IPO.

In 1978 he took over the post as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic commencing a tenure lasting 13 years, the longest in the orchestra's history. From 1985 to 2017 he has been chief conductor of the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence.

Zubin Mehta made his debut as an opera conductor with Tosca in Montreal in 1963. Since then he has conducted at the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala Milano, and the opera houses of Chicago and Florence as well as at the Salzburg Festival. Between 1998 and 2006 he was Music Director of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In October 2006 he opened the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia and was the President of the annual Festival del Mediterrani in Valencia until June 2014 where he conducted the celebrated Ring cycle with the Fura del Baus in coproduction with the Florence opera house. Other Ring cycles were completed at the Chicago Opera and the Bavarian State Opera.

Zubin Mehta's list of awards and honours is extensive and includes the "Nikisch-Ring" bequeathed to him by Karl Böhm. He is an honorary citizen of both Florence and Tel Aviv and was made an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera in 1997, of the Bavarian State Opera in 2006 and of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde Wien in 2007. The title of “Honorary Conductor” was bestowed to him by the following orchestras: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (2001), Munich Philharmonic Orchestra (2004), Los Angeles Philharmonic (2006), Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (2006), Staatskapelle Berlin (2014) and Bavarian State Orchestra (2006), with whom he performed in Srinagar, Kashmir in September 2013. In 2016 the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples appointed Zubin Mehta as Honorary Music Director and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic honoured him in 2019 as Conductor Emeritus. In February 2019 the Berlin Philharmonic appointed him their Honorary Conductor. A particular honor was made to him in 2022 when the new concert hall of the Teatro del Maggio Musicale in Florence was named after him.

In October 2008 Zubin Mehta was honoured by the Japanese Imperial Family with the “Praemium Imperiale”. In March 2011 Zubin Mehta received a special distinction, in getting a star on the Hollywood Boulevard. The Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany was bestowed to him in July 2012. The Indian Government honoured him in September 2013 with the “Tagore Award for cultural harmony” which a year earlier was awarded to Ravi Shankar. The Australian Government named him Honorary Companion of the Order of Australia in 2022.

Zubin Mehta continues to support the discovery and furtherance of musical talents all over the world. Together with his brother Zarin he is a co-chairman of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Bombay where more than 200 children are educated in Western Classical Music. The Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv develops young talent in Israel and is closely related to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, as is a new project of teaching young Arab Israelis in the cities of Shwaram and Nazareth with local teachers and members of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.