Monday, January 20, 2014

Claudio Abbado, 1933-2014.

Claudio Abbado, one of the greatest orchestra conductors of the past half century, died today at the age of eighty. He was at various times musical director of La Scala, in his native Milan; the Vienna State Opera; the Vienna Philharmonic; the London Symphony; and the Berlin Philharmonic (he was on the verge of being asked to become the music director of the New York Philharmonic when he was offered the position in Berlin, succeeding Herbert von Karajan). He also served for a time as principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony.


In the video above he conducts the Lucerne Festival Orchestra in a performance of the adagietto movement from Mahler's Fifth Symphony. As was his custom, he conducted from memory. He took pride in his knowledge of the music he was to direct.