American conductor Lorin Maazel is to become interim music director at the Munich Philharmonic, according to German news reports. It is believed that Maazel, 79, will take over from Christian Thielemann, who is quitting the post in 2011.
The news was broken by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Although the orchestra is yet to officially confirm the news, the paper’s source appears to have been the mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, and his press office.
Maazel, who was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic until last year, has worked previously in Munich, having been music director of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra (now headed by Mariss Jansons) from 1993 to 2002. He subsequently made several guest appearances with the Munich Philharmonic.
Thielemann has been chief conductor and music director of the Munich Philharmonic since September 2004. Last year he announced he was leaving the post to move to the Staatskapelle Dresden. The move followed a dispute with the Munich Philharmonic over the terms of his renewed contract – the sticking point had been whether the orchestra was prepared to allow Thielemann to have joint control over its guest conductors and their repertoire.