Romania names conductor Zubin Mehta to head music festival

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 2, 2015 at 6:01 a.m.

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Prominent conductor Zubin Mehta has been named as the new honorific chairman of the George Enescu International Music Festival.

Mehta will take over the post in 2017 from Romanian-born musician Ioan Holender, who directed the Vienna State Opera from 1992 to 2010. Holender is also the festival's artistic director.

Mehta, who was named the music director for life of the Israeli Philharmonic in 1981, has been a frequent presence at the Enescu festival.

Enescu, who died in 1955, was a Romanian composer, violinist and conductor who moved to Paris when the communists came to power. The festival always begins and ends with his compositions.

Organizers quoted Mehta as saying Wednesday: "I can hardly wait to return to Romania. You have the most beautiful festival in the world."

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