In Tuesday’s (6/23) Wall Street Journal, David Mermelstein interviews “Lorin Maazel, whose tenure as music director of the New York Philharmonic ends with the season … His champions tout his preternaturally precise beat, unflappable podium manner and command of vast swaths of repertory. … Mr. Maazel was at first reluctant, then eager, to comment on the quality of his seven-year reign at the Philharmonic, which concludes with four performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8. ‘It’s not for me to assess whether or not I have lived up to the expectations that arise at the beginning of any music director’s tenure,’ he began. ‘The orchestra I found had a problem with self-esteem. Their reputation was not what it should have been. So it became my goal to restore their belief in themselves. And I leave feeling that I’ve been quite successful.’ … [Maazel] is starting a music festival … at Castleton Farms, 65 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.” He and his wife, Dietlinde Turban, “have acquired some 550 acres over 20 years. … This year’s festival, running July 3 to 19, concentrates on four chamber operas by Benjamin Britten. There will also be recitals and orchestral concerts. Guest soloists and members of the New York Philharmonic will tutor the young players, and Mr. Maazel is to give master classes in conducting.”

Photo: Chris Lee/New York Philharmonic

Posted June 23, 2009