He was born Móse Grószberger in Budapest, and at the age of thirteen he emigrated with his family to Tel Aviv, Israel. He started his musical career on the horn before going to London for further studies in conducting.
He has won several conducting prizes and held many positions with major orchestras. He was chief conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra from 1967–71 and the Basel Symphony Orchestra from 1972-86. He was chief conductor of orchestras in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Rennes and of the Dortmunder Philharmoniker.