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Lorin Maazel
John Langley

Lorin Maazel was one of the most celebrated and respected living conductors and is truly worthy of the traditional reverential mantle of Maestro. What he is perhaps less known for is an impressive list of compositions and arrangements.

Our initial phone meeting in 1999 was a chance affair that started with an out of the blue phone call - from the man himself, he didn’t use agents or secretaries - which led my supplying a handful of orchestral arrangements for a charity concert with Jose Carreras in the maestro’s adapted barn/concert hall on his Castleton farm estate in Virginia, and this led to my assisting him with typesetting his adaptations of the same songs for his orchestra.

Once this project was completed Mr Maazel then asked me to typeset his new composition The Empty Pot for the London Symphony Orchestra, narrator, treble soloist and children’s choir. Immediately after this Mr Maazel wrote all the orchestral arrangements for Andrea Bocelli’s 2002 Sentimento album (Decca Classics) - also with the London Symphony Orchestra - and commissioned me to carry out the music copying.

In 2001 Mr Maazel embarked on his most ambitious writing project and commissioned me to carry out the music typesetting once again. This time it was a full scale 2.5 hour opera for large orchestra, chorus and soloists; the subject material was very personal to him and directly reflected his politicial views and anger regarding the Bush administration and he chose George Orwell’s 1984. This was a monumental and ambitious collaboration for Mr Maazel and many others including lyricist Thomas Meehan. It received its international debut at the Royal Opera House in 2004.

The world of music was very sad to learn of the passing of Lorin Maazel in 2014. He struck awe and fear into many a professional player but his influence, discography and body of live concert work in his 74 years will always remain an incredible legacy.

Click here to visit the official site for the 1984 Opera

Click here to visit the official website for Lorin Maazel

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