Founders of the Castleton Festival Receive Outstanding Virginian Award From State Legislature

Founders of the Castleton Festival Receive Outstanding Virginian Award From State Legislature

Lorin and Dietlinde Maazel’s Work in the Arts Recognized by Governor McAuliffe

Lorin and Dietlinde Maazel, founders of the Castleton Festival in Castleton, Virginia were honored today by the Virginia General Assembly as the “Outstanding Virginian of 2015” at a ceremony on the floor of the State House in Richmond. The Maestro was widely recognized as one of the best conductors in the world and most recently served as the conductor of the New York Philharmonic. The Rappahannock County music festival, founded in 2009 by the Maazels’ presents opera, classical music, bluegrass and jazz. After Lorin Maazel’s unexpected death in July 2014, his wife, Dietlinde, took over the festivals leadership. This year it will include a new comic opera based on Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Ginsburg and performances by jazz star, Wynton Marsalis.

Governor Terry McAuliffe hosted a luncheon honoring Mrs. Maazel and said, “We are proud of Lorin Maazel’s artistic leadership in Virginia. For many years he and Dietlinde have made a significant contribution to the cultural fabric of Virginia through the Castleton Festival.”

The Castleton Festival’s Artistic and Executive Director, Dietlinde Maazel said, “On behalf of Lorin and myself I am honored by this award from the people of Virginia for our work to promote classical music and opera. We want to demystify this important art form and make it accessible to a younger generation.”

In making the presentation, State Senator Mark Obenshain (26th District) said, “Today we honor the late Maestro Lorin Maazel and his widow Dietlinde Turban Maazel of Castleton in Rappahannock County. They have brought many of the finest musicians in the world to Virginia for the enjoyment of its citizens, and have created a music festival in Virginia that trains thousands of young people in a variety of musical disciplines.”

The Castleton Festival is the largest non-governmental employer in Rappahannock County. The Maazels built this Tanglewood like festival out of their love of music. In making the presentation on the floor of the House of Delegates Rep. Michael J. Webert (18th District) said, “The Maazels love the world of music and believe that the classics must be passed on to an inspired new generation of musicians. They believe this is best done through the old system of a master musician mentoring a student in his home. They have done this on a huge scale at their farm in Castleton.”

Webert continued, “Mrs. Maazel has been responsible for the planning and daily on-site operations of the Festival while the Maestro travelled the world both as an ambassador for the Festival and, in part, guest conducting to support the Festival’s large budget. He conducted his last concert in late spring of 2014, shortly before his untimely death in July 2014. At his wish, he is buried at Castleton.”

The award, given each year since 1983 is bestowed upon the person nominated by the Outstanding Virginian Committee based on public service and civic activism. The first award went to U.S. Sen. Harry F. Byrd Jr. of Winchester. The Maazels’ will join a permanent display of the illustrious previous winners at the 4-H Center in Front Royal.


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