Lorin Maazel, a world-renowned conductor whose prodigious career included seven years at the helm of the New York Philharmonic, died Sunday at his home in Virginia. He was 84. Maazel died at Castleton Farms from complications following pneumonia, according to a statement by The Castleton Festival, an annual festival Maazel founded with his wife in 2009.
Known for his relentless energy and passion for precision, Maazel guided nearly 200 orchestras in at least 7,000 opera and concert performances during 72 years at the podium, according to a biography posted on his website.
Maazel, an American born in Paris in 1930, took his first violin lesson at age 5. A dazzling prodigy, he was 7 when he was invited by Arturo Toscanini to conduct the NBC Symphony. His New York Philharmonic debut came five years later, in 1942. By age 15, he had conducted most of the major American orchestras. In 1960, at age 30, he became the first American to conduct at the Bayreuth Festival in Germany. He served as artistic director and chief conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin for five years starting in 1965.
In addition to his wife Dietlinde Turban Maazel, the conductor is survived by four daughters, three sons and four grandchildren.
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FILE - JULY 13: According to reports, renowned conductor Lorin Maazel died July 13, 2014 from complications of pneumonia at his home in Castleton, Virginia at the age of 84. ITALY - CIRCA 2000.
- The Associated Press
First published July 13 2014, 2:05 PM