Lorin Varencove Maazel is a violinist, composer and renowned conductor who was recognized as a child prodigy at the age of seven, when he took his first conducting lesson. He made his conducting debut at age eight, and by the time he was a teenager, he had toured the US as a guest conductor for the nation's major orchestras. As he continued to distinguish himself as the chief conductor at prestigious institutions such as the Vienna State Opera, the Orchestre National de France and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, he also broke several boundaries within the symphonic music world. Maazel became the first American conductor to lead Germany's Bayreuth Festival Theatre, and also achieved the first recording of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with an all-African American cast while serving as music director at the Cleveland Orchestra. A true pioneer of contemporary classical music, Maazel has earned a reputation as an emotional, rich interpreter of timeless classics while also pushing the preconceived limits of symphonic music.