Maazel was born to American parents in Neuilly-sur-Seine in France, but grew up in the United States on. Already at the age of seven he took lessons in conducting, and he made his debut when he was eight. At twelve he toured America as conductor of major orchestras. At age fifteen, he made his debut as a violinist. He later studied at the University ofPittsburgh . In Vienna, he studied conducting with Hans Swarowsky . One of his first contract was with the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Hilversum.
In 1972 he succeeded George Szell as music director of the Cleveland Orchestra . This was very much against the wishes of the musicians, who were shut out in the appointment.Only two of the hundred members found Maazel best choice. Maazels emotional interpretation of music was very different from the precision and punctuality Szell. Maazel would occupy the post for ten years, his greatest achievement during this period was the inclusion of George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess , with a full-color occupation. Maazel was best known for his performance as conductor of the New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic in which he also played the violin.
After Cleveland Maazel was for political reasons Vienna State Opera . Then worked with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1996 and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1993 to 2002. In that year he succeeded Kurt Masur as music director of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra . Since 2006 he has been chief conductor of the Orquestra de la Valencian in Valencia .just two years as director from 1982 to 1984 at the
Maazel is married to German actress Dietlinde Turban . They have two sons and a daughter.