Newstalgia Weekend Gramophone - Zubin Mehta's Hollywood Bowl Debut - 1961


Continuing with radio transcriptions of the 1960's this week. Featuring the Hollywood Bowl debut of 25 year-old Wunderkind Indian Conductor Zubin Mehta, who began his long association with the orchestra in 1961 with this performance, featuring pianist Byron Janis, of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #3, recorded by the Armed Forces Radio Service on August 1, 1961.

Mehta was something of a shot-in-the-arm for the Orchestra, which had gone through much of the previous decade in the musical doldrums, highlighted by the occasional guest conductor or soloist. Mehta brought enthusiasm back to the orchestra and the audience, by introducing a lot of adventuresome programming and trying unconventional things. Who could ever forget the L.A. Phil and The Mothers Of Invention at UCLA? Zubin Mehta came along and was at the right place at the right time.

And this recording is right about where it all started.

Another one of those concerts that hasn't seen the light of day since it was recorded. Even though it was pressed by AFRTS for use overseas, it's not likely it got a lot of airplay. And it certainly hasn't been reissued.

So yes, we're looking at yet another rarity here. Lucky you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.