Dalia Meroz, Long-time Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Spokeswoman, Dies at 62

Meroz, who admired conductor Zubin Mehta, served for 17 years as public relations officer and spokeswoman of the IPO, died of complications from medical treatments.

Dalia Meroz, who served for 17 years as public relations officer and spokeswoman of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, died yesterday at 62 as a result of complications from medical treatments. Before working for the IPO, Meroz managed press relations for the Red Sea Jazz Festival and Abu Ghosh Vocal Music Festival.

After her surprising dismissal from the IPO last year, Meroz represented the Cameri Theatre, Israeli Conservatory of Music and Israeli Chamber Music Center, meanwhile continuing to promote voluntarily the activities of numerous charities and music projects.

"Dalia accompanied us for years, with love, belief and endless devotion," said Avi Shoshani, the IPO's general director. "She was a true professional, and an integral part of the orchestra."

Born on a kibbutz, Meroz was taken by her father to her first IPO concert at age eight. "I admired all the great conductors. My friends were all crazy about Elvis, and I was enamored with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Leonard Bernstein and Sergiu Celibidache. I never really got over that phase." Meroz would recall that she used to slip into concerts without a ticket, vowing that "someday I would walk into the Mann Auditorium with my head held up high."

Even before she was appointed the IPO's press officer in 1994, a friend introduced her to Mehta - whom she admired more than all other conductors - and he recognized her as the fan sitting opposite him in the first row at every concert. When she was finally appointed spokeswoman he told her: "You're the only one who can really represent us."

Meroz is survived by her son Guy and her two daughters Sharon and Michal. Her funeral will be held today at 3 P.M. at Menucha Nechona Cemetery in Kfar Sava.