Lorin Maazel, World-Renowned American Composer, Dies At 84

Maazel was born in 1930 in Paris, and was a child prodigy. By the time he was a teenager, he had conducted most of the major American orchestras.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

And we end today's show with a remembrance world-renowned American conductor Lorin Maazel has died. Maazel was born in 1930 in Paris and was a child prodigy. By age 5 he was taking violin lessons, by 7 he was conducting. And by the time he was a teenager he had conducted most of the major American orchestras. He spoke with NPR's Robert Siegel in 2009.

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LORIN MAAZEL: I had the good fortune of not being exploited as so many child prodigies were. I could go to school like everybody else and play baseball and football which I did.

MCEVERS: According to the New York Times, Maazel surprised musicians and audiences with his adventurous style. He often conducted without a score in front of him - just from memory. He led the New York Philharmonic in a controversial performance in North Korea. In this 2008 interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air, Maazel describes playing the Star-Spangled Banner in the capital city of Pyongyang.

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MAAZEL: This had been the first time since the end of the Korean War that the American Anthem had been heard in Korea - people actually applauded.

MCEVERS: Conductor Lorin Maazel died today at his home in Castleton, Virginia. He was 84. And for Sunday that's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers, sitting in for Arun Rath. We're back next weekend until then, have a great week.

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