Claudio Abbado dies

Claudio Abbado, Italy’s internationally celebrated conductor, has died in his hometown of Bologna on Monday 20 January at the age of 80.

Abbado conducted most of the world’s top orchestras. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor at the Chicago Symphony orchestra. He had also been musical director at La Scala and Vienna State Opera.

He was appointed a life senator in August 2013, a position granted by the Italian president to personalities who have shown extraordinary scientific, social or cultural merit.

In addition to his career as a conductor he was also dedicated to encouraging musical talent among the young, especially in Europe, and founded several new orchestras, the European Youth Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Mozart Orchestra.

He was scheduled to conduct the Mozart Orchestra in the Accademia S. Cecilia season at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome on 14-16 February although there had been concerns about his health for a while and on 11 January the work of the orchestra was suspended for the time being.