Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thrity Umrigar and conductor Zubin Mehta

Former BJ reporter and nationally known author Thrity Umrigar, who grew up in India, met Parsi conductor Zubin Mehta on Sunday night after his performance at Severance Hall with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Bubbles Thrity:
“Ever since I was a little girl, we idolized the Parsi conductor Zubin Mehta. Tonight, he played at Severance Hall with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. I got a chance to meet him backstage and he was warm and charming despite having conducted for over two hours. So nice when your childhood heroes live up to their billing.
“And needless to say, I told him that if he came to our house tonight we'd make him a Parsi meal and. honestly, the poor man looked so tempted for a second there I thought he was going to say yes. I wish I could take him a Parsi omelet for breakfast tomorrow morning.”
Mehta is the Music Director for Life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Main Conductor for Valencia's opera house. Mehta is also the chief conductor of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival.

Mehta was born into a Parsi family in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, the son of Mehli and Tehmina Mehta. His father was a violinist and founding conductor of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra, and also conducted the American Youth Symphony upon moving to Los Angeles.

Mehta's first marriage was to Canadian soprano Carmen Lasky in 1958. They have a son, Mervon, and a daughter, Zarina. In 1964, they divorced. Two years later, Carmen married Mehta's brother, Zarin Mehta, formerly the Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic.

In 1969, Mehta married Nancy Kovack, an American former film and television actress. Mehta, a permanent resident of the United States, retains his Indian citizenship.

Thrity has been teaching creative writing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland since 2002. Her novels, set in her native India, total seven or eight or nine (I've lost track).

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