Zubin Mehta

Noted music director and conductor Zubin Mehta will lead the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra during a concert in Santa Barbara, Calif., Nov. 1. (Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra)

After performing thousands of concerts across five continents, the illustrious Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, which has been under the direction of world-renowned orchestra conductor Zubin Mehta, will make its debut in Santa Barbara, Calif.

One of Israel’s oldest and most influential cultural institutions, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra was founded in 1936 as an “orchestra of soloists,” made up of first-chair Jewish European musicians who had lost their positions. Since 1977, it has been under the direction of Mehta. Dubbed the IPO’s music director for life, the Indian American conductor will retire from his role with the orchestra in 2019, 50 years after his debut.

Scheduled for Nov. 1 at the Arlington Theatre in the city, the program will feature masterpieces by Mozart and Schubert. 

As Israel’s premier cultural ambassador, the IPO travels extensively throughout the world, particularly to countries where there is little or no Israeli representation. The countries visited by the orchestra include Japan, Argentina, Poland, Hungary, Russia, China, and India.

According to AP, the performance in Santa Barbara is part of a two-week North American tour of the conductor and orchestra, beginning with an Oct. 25 opening concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The presentation will feature an all-Mozart program including the overture to “The Marriage of Figaro.”

The orchestra will visit Toronto, California and Florida before returning to Carnegie Hall on Nov. 7 through Nov. 9.

Mehta has also led the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

Benefit galas honoring the conductor will be held in New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.

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