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Abbado, forever

Claudio Abbado has left us. But he will remain at La Scala forever. This is his theatre: the place that will retain, concretely and tangibly, the mark of the conductor without boundaries, the musician without preconceptions, the man of the theatre who was ready to take risks and the human being whose mind reached out to the world.

At La Scala, where he made his debut aged thirty-two with Mahler’s Second Symphony, Claudio Abbado gave eighteen of his best years: from 1968, when he was appointed Music Director of the Orchestra, until 1986, when his long season as the Theatre’s Music Director came to an end. 

On 30 October 2012, Mahler’s Sixth Symphony brought him back “home” after a 26-year absence; that was perhaps not a real absence. That concert, which he shared with Chopin and his friend Daniel Barenboim, who picked up his ideas as the Theatre’s Music Director, completed his historical cycle and forever engraved his name amongst those that made La Scala what we experience today and what people from all around the world consider it to be. 

At La Scala, Claudio Abbado produced an impressive series of memorable concerts, and besides working with the major musicians – authors and performers – of the latter half of the twentieth century, he founded the Philharmonic Orchestra on the Viennese model, devised and produced symphonic and operatic cycles that formed the basis of a repertoire that knew no boundaries in terms of language, culture, styles and ideas - in the natural conviction that every boundary represents the death of music.
His powerful ideas and open conception of music and theatre, helped La Scala enter a contemporary dimension, in harmony with our times.  It still retains this contemporary dimension and every day, thanks to him, it feels a duty to respect it. 

The thought which every department and person involved with La Scala dedicates to Claudio Abbado today, on the day of his passing, is proudly directed to the powerful living legacy which he, as one of the greatest “Scaligeri” of all times, bequeathed to his theatre for it to face the future.


The Funerl March in memory of Claudio Abbado can be watched on our YouTube channel 

Teatro alla Scala