BREAKING: Legendary Conductor Lorin Maazel, 84, Dies at Virginia Estate

By Louise Burton on Jul 13, 2014 08:54 PM EDT

Conductor Lorin Maazel has passed away from complications following pneumonia at his estate in Virginia, the Castleton Festival announced earlier today. Maestro Maazel, 84, had been rehearsing and preparing for upcoming performances of the Festival, which is held on his estate, Castleton Farms.

Maazel's illustrious career as a conductor spanned more than six decades and included positions as the music director of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera and several other internationally renowned ensembles.

He most recently served as music director of the Munich Philharmonic, but he resigned his post there last month due to ill health.

Maazel and his wife, German actress Dietlinde Turban Maazel, founded the Castleton Festival on their farm in Rappahannock County, Va. in the summer of 2009. The Festival has held performances and training seminars every summer since then in theatres Maazel built on the estate.

Maazel began conducting very early in life. He was born on March 6, 1930 to two American music students studying in Paris: Lincoln Maazel, a singer, and Marie Varencove Maazel, a pianist. The family moved to Los Angeles a few years later. Young Lorin began violin lessons at age five, and conducting lessons at age seven.

Between ages nine and 15, Maazel was invited to conduct several major American orchestras, including the NBC Symphony at the invitation of Arturo Toscanini.

In the course of his decades-long career, Maestro Maazel conducted more than 150 orchestras in no fewer than 5,000 opera and concert performances. He also made more than 300 recordings on numerous labels, for which he has won 10 Grands Prix du Disques.

Maazel is survived by daughters Anjali Maazel and Daria Maazel Steketee; son Ilann Maazel and daughter Fiona Maazel; his wife Dietlinde, their sons Orson and Leslie, and their daughter Tara; and four grandchildren.

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Tags Lorin Maazel, Castleton Festival, Dietlinde Turban Maazel, Munich Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Vienna State Opera, Cleveland Orchestra

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