- Abbado, Claudio
Italian conductor.Abbado studied piano, composition, and conducting at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory before beginning to conduct in Vienna. He was long associated with Milan's La Scala (1968–86), as principal conductor and ultimately as artistic director, as well as with the Vienna Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1989 he succeeded Herbert von Karajan as permanent conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic. He is known for his commitment to adventurous programming, including much modern music.
* * *▪ Italian music directorborn June 26, 1933, Milan, ItalyItalian conductor and music director of the Vienna State Opera (1986–91) and principal conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (from 1971), the London Symphony Orchestra (1979–88), and the Berlin Philharmonic (from 1989).One of a long line of Milanese musicians—his father, Michelangelo Abbado, was a violinist—Claudio Abbado at first studied privately. He entered the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory at 16 to concentrate on piano, composition, and conducting and then studied conducting at the Chigiana Academy of Siena and at the Vienna Academy of Music, working with conductor Hans Swarowsky.In 1958 Abbado won the Serge Koussevitzky conducting prize at the Tanglewood (Mass.) Festival and in 1963 the Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting prize. He made his British debut in 1965, leading the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, and in 1966 he began his long association with the London Symphony Orchestra; he directed it regularly before he succeeded André Previn as principal conductor in 1979. Abbado was for several years the music director at La Scala, Milan, where he helped make the opera house more accessible to the working-class operagoer. He was especially known for his Germanic orchestral repertory and, later, his special interest in the music of Gioacchino Rossini and Giuseppe Verdi.
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