March 1966 - KCET Airs Nationwide TV Debut of Zubin Mehta and the L.A. Philharmonic

Zubin Mehta conducts the L.A. Philharmonic
Zubin Mehta conducts the L.A. Philharmonic. | Photo: Courtesy The Music Center Archives/Otto Rothschild Collection

On March 25, 1966, KCET aired the nationwide televised debut of Zubin Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

As the station's contribution to the National Educational Television (NET) network's program, "Festival of the Arts," the station was the first to bring the L.A. Phil and its internationally-acclaimed musical director to a nationwide audience.

The concert, which was broadcast live (albeit on tape delay on the west coast) from the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on three nights from March 25th to the 27th, featured the orchestra performing Joseph Haydn's "Symphony #94" and Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra."

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KCET also aired several music programs around that time, including Henri Temianka and the California Chamber Symphony Orchestra (also broadcast nationally on NET), "The KCET Music Festival" featuring the Trojan Symphonic Band under Dr. William Schaeffer, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra performing Maurice Ravel's "Piano Concerto in G Major," and a series of classical guitar lessons by Frederick Noad.

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