Mehta, Previn to Trade? It’s a Rumor

With the official announcement this week that Zubin Mehta would not renew his contract as music director of the New York Philharmonic in 1991, interest has focused on Andre Previn’s plans after 1991 when his contract as music director with the Los Angeles Philharmonic expires.

Sources speculate that Previn and Mehta could trade places at two of the nation’s major musical posts. Some say Mehta will take a European post, while others say he will return to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he presided as music director from 1962 until he went East in 1978.

Previn acknowledged Thursday that he had “heard and read all the rumors but no one from the New York Philharmonic has talked to me. And I believe that no one from the Los Angeles Philharmonic has talked to (Mehta).”

As for the 59-year-old conductor’s plans when his Los Angeles contract expires, Previn said: “I haven’t even thought about what I’m going to do (at that time).”


Mehta, preparing weekend New York Philharmonic concerts at Lincoln Center, will not talk to the media at this time, said family sources and a New York Philharmonic spokesman.

Mehta maintains a residence in Los Angeles, where he often visits his parents. His father, Mehi Mehta, conducts the American Youth Symphony.

Ernest Fleischmann, executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, discounted the speculation as “just that--rumors.”