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WaltDisneyConcertHall

In 1964, the newly-built Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles was opened to much fanfare. It was the city’s crowning achievement, having lacked a modern concert hall for many years. Walt and Lillian Disney donated a wad of money to the project and were to be given a personal tour of the hall prior to dedication. I was the PR person for the park’s new “ambassador”, Miss Disneyland, and as such escorted her to the pre-dedication event. There was a bevy of Music Center execs there, along with the press, to greet Walt and Lillian and the photogenic Miss Disneyland.

The music director at the time was the young, Indian conductor Zubin Mehta. He was known for his fiery passion and diva-like temperament. Only 26 years old at the time, he was already considered a musical boy genius. To complete the picture, he usually dressed all in black. That, together with his swarthy dark complexion, made quite an impressive and dramatic presentation.