Claudio Abbado has for more than 40 years enriched the musical and cultural life of the various cities where he has worked. His debut was in his native Milan at La Scala in 1960, and he studied piano at the Milan Conservatory, and conducting at the Vienna Academy of Music. He served as music director at La Scala, principal conductor and musical director of the London Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Vienna State Opera and of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and principal conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. His is also the founder and music director of the European Union Youth Orchestra
, and his career is further distinguished by his dedication to the development of young talent.
Claudio Abbado was born in 1933, and made his debut in his native Milan at La Scala in 1960. He studied piano at the Milan Conservatory with his father Michelangelo Abbado, and went on to study conducting at the Vienna Academy of Music. Abbado served as music director at La Scala from 1968 to 1986, conducting contemporary operas and concert series featuring works by Alban Berg and Modest Mussorgsky, as well as the traditional Italian repertoire. From 1979 to 1988 he was the principal conductor and musical director of the London Symphony Orchestra. From 1986 -91 he served as Music Director of the Vienna State Opera and of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He was the principal conductor and artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 1989 to 2002, and distinguished himself there also through additions of contemporary works and opera to the symphonic repertoire.
In 1987 Abbado was named General Music Director of the City of Vienna, and among his accomplishments in this post is the founding in 1988 of the annual Vienna Modern Music Festival. He remains artistic director of the festival that has expanded to now include all aspects of contemporary art. Similarly, in Berlin, in 1992 Claudio Abado created the Berliner Begegnungen (Berlin Encounters) as a regular feature of the annual Berlin Festival where professionals join young musicians to rehearse and perform classical and contemporary chamber music. Abbado is dedicated to the development of young talent -he is also the founder (1978) and music director of European Union Youth Orchestra
, (2002 Praemium Imperiale Grant for Young Artists), and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra (1986).
From August 2003, Abbado will be conducting his first concerts with the new Lucerne Festival Orchestra.
Abbado has for more than 40 years enriched the musical and cultural life of the various cities where he has worked. His recordings of, among others, the complete symphonic works of Beethoven, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Schubert, Ravel, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, as well as works by Verdi, Rossini, Mozart and Wagner, are widely appreciated, and have won high praise and prestigious awards.