Zubin Mehta made his conducting debut in Vienna in 1958 and later that year won First Prize in the International Conductors' Competition in Liverpool. In 1978 he became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, and when he left the orchestra at the end of the 1990/91 season he became the longest-serving Music Director in the orchestra's history. He is also Music Director for Life of the Israel Philharmonic and has for the past thirty years been an annual visitor to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras. His operatic work has taken him to the Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Opera House, La Scala, Milan, the Vienna Staatsoper, and to the Salzburg, Florence and Munich Festivals. His many honours include the Padma Bhushan (Order of the Lotus), India's highest cultural award, given to people of outstanding accomplishment in the arts and sciences.
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