Renowned musician Zubin Mehta will retire from his post as the artistic director of the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018, according to reports. The 80-year-old conductor who was born in India has been associated with the Orchestra for 55 years. Mehta was appointed the group’s director in 1977, before being made its Music Director for Life in 1981. He has conducted over 2,000 concerts with the group.

An alumnus of Saint Mary’s School and Saint Xavier’s College in Mumbai, Mehta has also worked with and held senior positions in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic. He is also the chief conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino festival, a post from which he will retire in 2017.

Earlier this year, Mehta told Israeli newspaper Haaretz that he was “worried” about the country being isolated by the international community over the Palestinian situation. “As someone who knows Israel’s image around the world very well, Israel is isolated, and I will say it again: Isolated,” he said.

In his biography, he has also written that he hopes to see a Palestinian musician join the Orchestra, and see it perform in cities like Cairo and Damascus.