CLAUDIO ABBADO Biography - Craftmen, artisans and people from other Occupations


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Name: Claudio Abbado                                                                   
Born: 26 June 1933                                                                     
Claudio Abbado, Cavaliere di Gran Croce (born June 26, 1933), is an                   
Italian conductor.                                                                     
Born in Milan, Italy, Abbado studied piano at the Milan Conservatory, and went         
on to study conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Vienna Academy of Music.             
Abbado made his debut at La Scala in his hometown of Milan in 1960. He served as       
its music director from 1968 to 1986, conducting not only the traditional             
Italian repertoire but also presenting a contemporary opera each year, as well         
as a concert series devoted to the works of Alban Berg and Modest Mussorgsky.         
While at La Scala, Abbado also founded the Orchestra della Scala, for the             
performance of orchestral repertoire in concert.                                       
Abbado conducted the Vienna Philharmonic for the first time in 1965 in a concert       
at the Salzburg Festival. He served as music director for the Vienna State Opera       
from 1986 to 1991, with notable productions such as Mussorgsky's original Boris       
Godunov and his seldom-heard Khovanshchina, Franz Schubert's Fierrabras, and           
Gioacchino Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims.                                               
He was principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1979 to 1987.         
In the US, he was principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra         
from 1982 to 1986. With both orchestras, Abbado has made a number of recordings       
for Deutsche Grammophon.                                                               
In 1989, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra elected Abbado as their chief               
conductor, to succeed Herbert von Karajan. Abbado held this post until 2002.           
In 2004, he returned to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic and performed Mahler's         
Symphony No. 6 in a series of recorded live concerts. The resulting CD won Best       
Orchestral Recording and Record of the Year in Gramophone Magazine's 2006 awards.     
The Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic established the Claudio Abbado       
Composition Prize in 2006 in Abbado's honour.                                         
Abbado has performed and recorded a wide range of Romantic works, in particular       
Gustav Mahler, whose symphonies he has recorded several times. He is also noted       
for his interpretations of modern works such as Arnold Schoenberg, Karlheinz           
Stockhausen and Luigi Nono.                                                           
In 1988, Abbado founded the music festival Wien Modern, which has since expanded       
to include all aspects of contemporary art. This interdisciplinary festival           
takes place each year under Abbado's direction.                                       
Abbado is also well-known for his work with young musicians. He is founder and         
music director of the European Union Youth Orchestra (1978) and the Gustav             
Mahler Jugendorchester (1986). He is also a frequent guest conductor with the         
Chamber Orchestra of Europe, with whom he recorded a cycle of Franz Schubert           
symphonies to considerable acclaim. More recently, he has worked with the             
Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar of Venezuela.                                     
Abbado was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2000, and the treatment led to the         
removal of a portion of his digestive system. After his recovery, he formed the       
Lucerne Festival Orchestra in 2003, and their concerts have been highly               
acclaimed. Abbado is scheduled to remain as the orchestra's music director             
and chief conductor through 2010. He also serves as music director of the             
Mozart Orchestra of Bologna, Italy.                                                   
In September 2007, Abbado announced that he was cancelling all of his                 
forthcoming conducting engagements for the "near future", on the advice of his         
physicians. In November 2007, Abbado resumed conducting concerts with an               
engagement in Bologna.                                                                 
Abbado's son is the opera-director Daniele Abbado. From his relationship with         
the violinist Viktoria Mullova, he is the father of her oldest child, Misha.           
His nephew, Roberto Abbado, is also a conductor.