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Rare Tanglewood pic of the young Claudio Abbado and Zubin Mehta

abbado young mehta

The picture shows Mehta (l) and Abbado (r) with their conducting course teacher, Eleazar de Carvalho.

The Brazilian composer Jocy de Oliveira recalls:

I met Claudio Abbado in the late 1950s in Milan. Eleazar de Carvalho was conducting the Pomerigggio Musicale orchestra with Claudio Abbado as soloist in a Mozart concerto. His father was director of the orchestra . After many beautiful spaghetti dinners… Eleazar liked the musicality of his son and invited him to attend the conducting courses at Tanglewood, of which the Brazilian Maestro was the director and teacher… At the end of the course , Eleazar awarded Abbado with the Koussevitzky Prize as the best student in that season….After that we were a few times with Abbado in Italy, and his career still did not take off. Then there was a major Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in NY and Eleazar was invited to chair the Board. Abbado participated in the contest and Eleazar worked extensively with the panel so that he won first place. After this award, his career was definitely launched .

original in Portuguese:

Conheci Claudio Abbado em fins da década de 1950 em Milano. Eleazar de Carvalho foi reger a orquestra do Pomerigggio Musicale com o Claudio Abado como solista de um concerto de Mozart. Seu pai era o diretor da orquestra. Depois de muitos jantares e belos spaghetti seu pai solicitou ao Eleazar que apoiasse seu filho a ser regente pois ele tinha muito talento. Eleazar gostou muito da musicalidade do filho e convidou-o a participar dos cursos de regência em Tanglewood , os quais o Maestro brasileiro era o diretor e professor. Claudio Abbado tornou-se assim um dos 3 regentes ativos no curso juntamente com Zubin Mehta. No final do curso, Eleazar premiou Abbado com o Prêmio Koussevitzky como o melhor aluno daquela temporada. Isto deu `a Abbado um importante começo de carreira . Mas depois disto estivemos algumas vezes com Abbado na Itália, e ele continuava sem deslanchar. Foi quando houve um importante concurso de regência Mitropoulos em NY e Eleazar foi convidado para presidir a banca. Abbado participou do concurso e Eleazar trabalhou intensamente junto a banca para que ele ganhasse o primeiro lugar. Depois deste premio, sua carreira foi definitivamente lançada.
Esta é a história do inicio de sua carreira, mas, como perdura e sempre perdurará o preconceito, discriminação e esquecimento `aqueles que vem do hemisfério sul, e nossa midia ignora nossa história, nada foi dito no obituário de Claudio Abbado, dia 21 de Janeiro no O Globo.
O mundo perdeu sem dúvida um grande regente e a história merece ser contada.
Eleazar com seus alunos Zubin Mehta e Claudio Abbado em Tanglewood, USA — with Zubin Mehta and Claudio Abbado.

abbado young mehta

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Comments

  1. Harold Lewis says:

    Just a small point of translation.The term ‘a banca’ in the last sentence of the first paragraph does not mean ‘the bank’ (a bank in the Santander sense is ‘banco’ in Portuguese), but rather the competition panel or jury.

  2. Rosana Martins says:

    It’s a beautiful story and reminded me that Abbado studied with Friedrich Gulda, in Vienna. Jocy the Oliveira was married to Maestro Eleazar de Carvalho at the time.

  3. Mark Stratford says:

    ===Eleazar worked extensively with the panel so that [Abbado] won first place

    Huh ? That’s not much of a compliment.!

    BTW: My favourite memory of Abbado was at Barbican (about a year after it opened) when he did 2 performances of Stockhausen’s GRUPPEN for 3 orchestras and 3 conductors. The other conductors were Edward Downes and James Judd. Spectacular

  4. Thanks for sharing my story on Eleazar and Abbado

  5. Does anyone know who the other conductors in the photo are? The man on the far left (next to Mehta) looks a lot like Gustav Meier.

  6. Yes that is Gustav Meier.

  7. The conductor on far right might be David Zinman. Gustav’s bio says he attended Tanglewood with Mehta, Abbado and Zinman.

  8. My Mom has this exact photo because she was Assistant Principal Cello of the Tanglewood Festival Orcjestra in 1958 and 1959….There were quite a few women attending, which in those days was kind of rare.

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