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Maestro Lorin Maazel, celebrated conductor, is dead at 84

Conductor, composer and former child prodigy Lorin Maazel, died Sunday at his home in Virginia. He was 84.

A conductor from the age of nine, Maazel directed the Munich Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic over the course of his career.

In July of 2012, PBS Newshour’s Jeffrey Brown sat down with the maestro and spoke with him about the festival he founded, Castleton.

Castleton is a month-long program of recitals, concerts and operas, that is both a traditional summer music festival as well as an opportunity for students to train with music greats in rural Virginia.

The festival posted the following quotation from the celebrated conductor on its website:

I have always believed that the arts, per se, and their exponents, artists, have a broader role to play in the public arena. But it must be totally apolitical, nonpartisan and free of issue-specific agendas. It is a role of the highest possible order; bringing peoples and their cultures together on common ground, where the roots of peaceful interchange can imperceptibly but irrevocably take hold.

Maazel was preparing for the sixth-annual Castleton Festival before he died.