Maestro Zubin Mehta will bring the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to Australia as part of his global farewell tour in 2019, the Sydney Opera House announced today. The tour is the culmination of Mehta’s 50-year tenure with the orchestra – for which he was appointed Music Director for Life – which comes to an end in October 2019 when he passes the baton to Lahav Shani. Mehta and the IPO will perform two programs in Sydney, the first featuring Israeli composer Ödön Pártos’ Concertino for Strings alongside Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, while the second will feature Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture along with Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite No 2 and Schubert’s Ninth Symphony.

Zubin Mehta, Israel Philharmonic OrchestraZubin Mehta. Photo © Shai Skiff

“Ten years have passed since the IPO’s last Australian tour, including performances at Sydney Opera House in 2008,” Mehta said. “In recent years, the orchestra has been fortunate to embark on worldwide tours every season, but the trip to Australia is a dream come true for me and for my colleagues. My fellow musicians and I are excited to meet the warm and generous Australian audience, and I hope and believe that the experience will remain etched in the hearts of all – on the stage and in the Concert Hall – for many years to come.”

Mehta was last in Australia for his performances with the Australian World Orchestra in Sydney and Melbourne in 2013, ahead of his India tour with the AWO in 2015.

Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Photo © Oded Antman

Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic are the latest in a series of high profile conductors and orchestras to come to Australia, with Daniel Barenboim performing at the Sydney Opera House this month. “We have the honour of presenting some of the world’s most esteemed orchestras, including Daniel Barenboim and Staatskapelle Berlin in November 2018,” said Sydney Opera House Executive Director, Performing Arts, Kate Dundas. “The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra led by Maestro Zubin Mehta is no exception. This is sure to be a very special appearance by the globally revered Maestro. We are privileged to host his swansong Australian performance with the IPO.”

Zubin Mehta conducts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House March 20 – 21, 2019. Tickets on sale to general public December 3 at 9am AEDT

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Limelight, Australia's Classical Music and Arts Magazine