Zubin Mehta honored with Israeli Presidential award

Israeli President Shimon Peres awards Indian conductor Zubin Mehta during a ceremony with the Presidential Medal of Distinction

JERUSALEM: India-born music conductor Zubin Mehta has been honored with the Israeli Presidential Award of Distinction for his contribution to the society through the language of music.
Mehta, 76, the first non-Jew to receive such an award, joins an elite group of people like former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Judith Feld Carr, a Canadian-Jewish musician and human rights activist who helped smuggle thousands of Jews out of Syria, the Rashi Foundation, a non-governmental organization, Chabad Rabbi Adin Even Yisrael and attorney Uri Slonim.
“Zubin you came here to conduct an orchestra but you became the conductor of our hearts. You know I can’t think of anybody else who has offered such a unique contribution to our country, to our people and to our mood,” said Israeli President Shimon Peres conferring the award on the music conductor at a ceremony organized at his official residence.
“You have shown leadership, a leader was born to elate the spirit and the hopes of the people,” he said.
“That’s what you did. Israel used to be a drama and you made us into a dramatic symphony without compromising one for the other. You made our people feel at ease, feel together through the language of music. You and the orchestra carried a flag of friendship across the world and represented our country in an unbelievable manner,” the elder statesman said praising Mehta’s contribution to Israeli society.
“Music conducted by you became a message for peace, a message of hope. I feel honored and privileged to express from the depth of our hearts our thanks to a person who is so unique,” the Israeli President said.
“The award is bestowed upon those who have made an outstanding contribution to the State of Israel or to humanity, through their talents, services, or in any other form,” the President’s media adviser, Yair Zivan, told PTI.


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