I Still Feel Young And Will Continue As Long As I Can: Maestro Zubin Mehta

I Still Feel Young And Will Continue As Long As I Can: Maestro Zubin Mehta

The LA based conductor will wave his wand one more time this weekend on Saturday, August 19th, and Monday, August 21st

Verus FerreiraUpdated: Thursday, August 17, 2023, 01:25 PM IST
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(L to R) Khushroo N Suntook, Chairman of the NCPA, Zubin Mehta, and (L) Mehroo Jeejeebhoy, Founder Trustee of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation at the Press Conference | FPJ

Master conductor Zubin Mehta is in town. Mumbai is excited to watch the world famous conductor wave his wand one more time this weekend on Saturday, August 19th, and Monday, August 21st. Since his arrival in the city on Sunday, the 86-year-old maestro has been busy in rehearsals but has made time to meet up with the media, who have always faithfully been by his side, covering every visit of his.

The LA-based conductor walks into the press conference more slowly than he did in his youthful days and is helped by a cane, before slowly slipping into a wheelchair. He was accompanied on the dais by Khushroo N Suntook, Chairman of the NCPA, and Mehroo Jeejeebhoy, Founder Trustee of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation.

Master conductor Zubin Mehta

Master conductor Zubin Mehta |

Here to conduct the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) for the very first time, Mehta is happy to be in the city, his homeland, and can’t wait to take the stage on Saturday with an all new orchestra. “I’m really happy to be here and conduct with the SOI. I can tell you that in the last few days that I have been practicing, I didn’t expect to see the quality that I have seen in this orchestra. It’s a very fine orchestra. I do hope I can come here very soon.”

Mehta recalled his friendship with Suntook, which dates back to Campion School, when the two studied together in the First Standard way back in 1943. “It's been 80 years. It’s been a long time since he has been inviting me constantly to come and conduct this orchestra, and I am very glad I could finally make it”.

(L to R) Khushroo N Suntook, Chairman of the NCPA, Zubin Mehta, and (L) Mehroo Jeejeebhoy, Founder Trustee of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation

(L to R) Khushroo N Suntook, Chairman of the NCPA, Zubin Mehta, and (L) Mehroo Jeejeebhoy, Founder Trustee of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation |

Being Parsi New Year, Mehta lamented that, unfortunately, being such an auspicious day, this evening they couldn’t hold a concert today, but was happy that both shows were houseful.

SOI is Mehta’s newest venture. After spending 50 years with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and various other orchestras, Mehta says that he found it extremely difficult to fit in the Mumbai dates, but he is pleased it has finally worked out. “I still feel young and will continue as long as I can” says Mehta in a feeble tone.

When asked which was his standout performance in his illustrious career, Mehta was quick to admit that there have been a few, but he cannot point out just one. “I will cite an instance, but it’s not about the musical excellence, but more about the importance of the political situation at the time. So to go across the border into Lebanon with the Israel Philharmonic was a concert I can’t forget. One of the first concerts of my life was with the students of the Vienna Academy when we went over to the Austrian – Hungarian border during the Hungarian revolution of that time in 1956 to play for refugees who were coming over. And you know, at the end of that concert, a Hungarian priest came out in front of us, and I think in Hungarian, which we did not understand, he gave us a blessing. The blessing, I can say, lasted a long time, which I appreciated very much.

Mehta has a long way to go and is not stopping. He says he still has lots of concerts coming up in various countries, and he hopes to come to Mumbai again very soon.

As both shows are houseful, as a gesture of appreciation for the audience’s interest, the NCPA has organized a live screening for audience members who are keen to watch this coveted performance, live on a screen.

The simulcast screening of the Zubin Mehta concert will be held on August 19 at the Tata Theatre, simultaneously with the live performance at the Jamshed Bhabha Theatre. The screening will provide an opportunity for a wider audience to experience the magic of Zubin Mehta conducting the SOI for the first time.

When: Saturday, 19 th August, 2023

Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Tata Theatre, NCPA

Price: INR 900 & 500/- (Inclusive of GST)

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