April 29 2021
I congratulate my dear friend Zubin Meta on his 85th birthday. I am a happy person, because in my life I had a chance not only to meet Maestro Meta, but also to go on stage with him, and be friends with him. He is a unique musician, a fantastic conductor, a multi-faceted talent, honest in his service to music and a fantastically kind person. Every minute of conversation with him is a master-class of personality with a capital letter P and at the same time an ocean of unique charm.
We played a huge number of concerts together all over the world, including those with his main creation – the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. They came to Irkutsk for Stars on the Baikal, and the cultural life of Russia was overwhelmed by their performances. At that time, it became a tradition for us to go to the steam bath and dive into Lake Baikal two hours before the concert. We talked a lot with him on countless topics. And once he told me that he could see how much my homeland was dear to me and that it resonated with his feelings about his homeland – India. So he invited me to his 80th birthday party in Bombay. It was an unforgettable trip that showed me the maestro from a completely different side. I was in India for the first time, but even during that brief encounter with this country, I was able to understand how much Zubin Mehta cherishes it and how passionately he loves it.
Therefore, I would like to wish the strongest health not only to the hero of the day, but also to his homeland, which is now having a hard time because of the pandemic. And, of course, I sincerely wish the maestro inexhaustible energy and the opportunity to create on stage.
I look forward to our concerts, which I hope will resume soon.
Bravo, maestro! See you soon!