Lorin Varencove Maazel was born of American parents in Neuilly, France on March 6, 1930 and the family returned to Los Angeles when Lorin was still an infant. He exhibited a remarkable ear and musical memory when very young; he had perfect pitch and sang back what he heard. He was taken at age five to study violin with Karl Moldrem. At age seven he started studying piano with Fanchon Armitage. When he became fascinated with conducting, his parents took him to symphony concerts, then arranged for him to have lessons with Vladimir Bakaleinikov, then assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. At the age of eight, the University of Idaho Orchestra visited Los Angeles. Bakaleinikov arranged for his eight-year-old pupil to conduct them in Schubert's "Unfinished" B-minor symphony. (Maazel was quick with languages as well; he learned to speak Russian from studying with Bakaleinikov.) In 1938, Bakaleinikov obtained a position as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The Maazel family followed him east so that Lorin could continue his studies with him. Lorin went to the National Music Camp at Interlochen, MI in the summer. On August 18, 1939, the National Music Camp Orchestral appeared at the New York World's Fair, and Lorin conducted it in a work. His appearance created a sensation, although some critics were negative, comparing the feat to the performance of a trained seal.