Zubin Mehta, who was named the IPO's music director for life in 1981 (he has been music director since 1969), will share the podium with frequent IPO collaborator Lorin Maazel, who was named an honorary life member of the orchestra in 1985.
The tour kicks off at Carnegie Hall on January 30, with Maazel leading the IPO in Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3 and Violin Concerto (featuring soloist Maxim Vengerov). On February 1, Mehta takes up the baton for Weber's overture to Der Freisch‹tz and Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique; baritone Thomas Hampson joins them for Mahler's R‹ckert-Lieder.
In San Francisco on February 4 and Los Angeles on February 5, Mehta leads the orchestra in the Leonore Overture, Schoenberg's Verkl‹rte Nacht and the Symphonie fantastique. For the final concert on February 6 in Los Angeles, Maazel conducts Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture and "Italian" Symphony, Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2.
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1936 and was originally named the Palestine Orchestra. The orchestra has historically performed regardless of the political situation or unrest in Israel. In 1948 Leonard Bernstein led the IPO in a concert on the sand dunes of Beersheba in the Negev Desert for an audience of 5,000 soldiers; the orchestra also performed in Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967 and every night during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.