Zubin Mehta - A Tribute by Late Pandit Ravi Shankar
"Zubin Mehta has chiselled features, a dashing smile, handsome; he is one of the greatest conductors of our times. As a fellow Indian, musician and friend, I have more reason to admire and love him. I first met Zubin in the early nineteen sixties when I was in Montreal to perform. He was the chief director of Montreal symphony. I came to know him better a couple of years later in Los Angeles when he became the director there. This was right after the Monterey concert and I was also living there a that time. Both Zubin and I met often in parties on various occasions. We got together again in the late nineteen seventies when he became the director of the New York Philharmonic. This is when I started to write my Second Sitar Concerto. Zubin asked me to write minor second and seventh notes. I avoided the fifth note. I tried with rhythmic cycles of five and a half and thirteen and a half beats. It was performed by the NYPO under Zubin. I cherish that memory. We also recorded it later with the London Symphony players. I was living in New York near Gramercy Park with Sue Jones and our daughter, Nora (Geetali), was a few months' old then. I used to go to the Lincoln Center in the mornings where Zubin used to rehearse for the pieces hat were to be played in the evenings. Zubin loved spicy food and hot chilies, particularly. In fact, he always carried a little metal box with him in his pocket which contained hot chilies. I remember Zubin as a conductor who has music running through every vein in his body. He has worked for numerous humanitarian causes and is loved by everyone. He is a caring and a sensitive person. Recently, he heard Anoushka perform in Switzerland and after the concert, he contacted me immediately to tell how ell she played. It was a wonderful gesture from him and I was deeply touched. I like to keep track of Zubin's glorious conducting career and tours all over the world and my love for him grows stronger as I feel closer to him. May God bless and protect him always."