Claudio Abbado

Biography

Born: June 26, 1933; Milan, Italy   Died: January 20, 2014; Bologna, Italy   Country: Italy  
Claudio Abbado was one of the leading conductors of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. He held a number of prestigious posts, any one of which would be a crowning achievement for a conductor, and his musical presence in both concert and recordings left an undeniable legacy of excellence.

His family traces its roots to a prominent Moorish family expelled from Spain in 1492 and is said to include the architect of
Read more the Alhambra. His father was Michelangelo Abbado, a violinist and teacher who gave both Claudio and his brother, Marcello Abbado, their first piano and music lessons (Marcello has gone on to become a pianist and composer).

Claudio was educated at the Milan Conservatory, graduating in 1955 with a certificate in piano. While a student there, he also studied conducting with Antonio Votto. In 1955, he studied piano with Friedrich Gulda in Salzburg, and then (from 1956-1958) attended Hans Swarowsky's conducting classes at the Vienna Academy of Music.

In 1958, he made his conducting debut in Trieste, and won the Koussevitzky Competition at Tanglewood. This led to his engagement in several provincial opera houses and orchestras, as well as a teaching position at Parma Conservatory. After winning the 1963 Dimitri Mitropoulos Prize, he was awarded a five-month position on the staff of the New York Philharmonic, with which he made his American professional debut on April 7, 1963. The year 1965 marked his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburg Festival, but more so for his return to his hometown of Milan to conduct at La Scala. He would conduct there again in 1967, become the company's resident director in 1968, and be named music director in 1971.

Abbado was credited with raising the performing standards at La Scala, and for broadening its repertory. He also organized its orchestral players into the Orchestra della Scala, whose performances of works by such composers as Schoenberg, Nono, Ligeti, Stockhausen, and Berio brought Abbado special acclaim as an interpreter of modern works.

In 1971, he was appointed principal conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic. Soon after, he formed a relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra, of which he became principal conductor in 1979, and finally music director, a post he retained until 1988. Other activities during this period included the founding of the European Community Youth Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and the Gustav Mahler Youth Chamber Orchestra.

For the period 1982-1986, Abbado served as principal guest conductor at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, after which he was appointed music director of the Vienna State Opera. The Viennese further honored him by appointing him general music director of the city. During his tenure, he founded (1988) the Wien Modern music festival, which has now grown to encompass all forms of contemporary art.

Abbado succeeded Herbert von Karajan as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1989. In 1991, he relinquished his position at the Vienna State Opera, but he has maintained a presence in the city by founding the annual Vienna prize for young composers. In 1994, he succeeded to another post once held by Karajan, namely the directorship of the Salzburg Easter Festival.

Abbado was an exciting conductor who relished the beauty of tone. His extensive discography includes the complete symphonic works of Mahler, Schubert, Ravel, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, and Beethoven, and dozens of other recordings. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 291 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Beethoven: 9 x 9th Symphony
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 265548 Release Date: 12/18/2020   Number of Discs: 9
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Conductor:  Jascha Horenstein,  Otto Klemperer,  Herbert von Karajan,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    New Year's Concert - The Complete Works (Extended Edition)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19439764562 Release Date: 12/04/2020   Number of Discs: 26
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Josef Strauss,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Carlos Kleiber,  Riccardo Muti,  Seiji Ozawa  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 3.
    100 Best Verdi
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 548466 Release Date: 11/06/2020   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Rolando Villazón,  Renato Bruson,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Marcello Viotti,  Giuseppe Patané,  Julius Rudel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
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  • 4.
    Claudio Abbado - The Early Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 541647 Release Date: 07/31/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Maria Cambini,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Giuseppe Tartini
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Bruno Canino,  Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini,  Antonio Ballista  ... 
    Conductor:  Michelangelo Abbado,  Alberto Zedda,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra dell'Angelicum di Milano
    CD: $13.99
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  • 5.
    Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 20, 21, 25 & 27 / Gulda, Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4838526 Release Date: 06/26/2020   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Friedrich Gulda
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 6.
    Peter Serkin: Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19439713872 Release Date: 06/19/2020   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ferruccio Busoni  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Serkin,  Ruth Laredo,  Rudolf Serkin,  Mieczyslaw Horszowski  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Schneider,  Seiji Ozawa,  Tadaaki Otaka,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    Beethoven: 7 Legendary Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 483827 Release Date: 03/20/2020   Number of Discs: 7
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Irmgard Seefried,  Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,  Ernst Haefliger,  Maureen Forrester  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Carlos Kleiber,  Ferenc Fricsay,  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  St. Hedwig's Cathedral Choir  ... 
    CD: $46.99
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  • 8.
    Beethoven 2020 - The New Complete Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4836767 Release Date: 11/01/2019   Number of Discs: 123
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Agnes Baltsa,  Peter Schreier,  Anna Tomowa-Sintow,  José van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Claudio Abbado,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Andris Nelsons  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $349.99
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  • 9.
    Bruckner: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 9 / Abbado, Lucerne Festival Orchestra
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 30489 Release Date: 09/20/2019   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anton Bruckner
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra
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  • 10.
    Mahler: Symphony No. 1 / Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4837266 Release Date: 07/26/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    LP: $29.99
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  • 11.
    Gil Shaham: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4836334 Release Date: 04/05/2019   Number of Discs: 22
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Aaron Copland,  André Previn,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Gil Shaham,  André Previn,  Jian Wang,  Göran Söllscher  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Pierre Boulez,  Claudio Abbado,  Giuseppe Sinopoli  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $97.99
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  • 12.
    Nathan Milstein: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4836312 Release Date: 04/05/2019   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Nathan Milstein,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Georges Pludermacher
    Conductor:  Eugen Jochum,  Claudio Abbado,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $43.99
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  • 13.
    Schlomo Mintz: The Complete Deutsche Grammophon Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4836318 Release Date: 04/05/2019   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Shlomo Mintz,  Yefim Bronfman,  Clifford Benson,  Clifford Benson  ... 
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Claudio Abbado,  Zubin Mehta,  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $78.99
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  • 14.
    Abbado Rediscovered - Schubert: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 8
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4835620 Release Date: 11/30/2018   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Verdi: Macbeth / Abbado, Teatro alla Scala
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4835601 Release Date: 11/30/2018   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Giovanni Foiani,  Shirley Verrett,  Stefania Malagú,  Placido Domingo  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus
    CD: $46.99
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  • 16.
    Claudio Abbado: The Last Years
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 70461 Release Date: 11/16/2018   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Orchestra Mozart
    DVD: $90.99
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  • 17.
    Claudio Abbado: The Last Years [Blu-ray]
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 60461 Release Date: 11/16/2018   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Anton Bruckner,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra,  Orchestra Mozart
    Blu-ray Video: $90.99
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  • 18.
    100 Christmas Masterworks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4836001 Release Date: 11/09/2018   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Peter Cornelius  ... 
    Performer:  Arleen Augér,  Kay Johannsen,  Rachel Harnisch,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock,  Claudio Abbado,  Marcello Viotti,  Karl Richter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Swedish Radio Choir  ... 
    CD: $22.99
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  • 19.
    Eric Ericson Chamber Choir
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 25054 Release Date: 10/05/2018   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Karita Mattila,  Eike Wilm Schulte  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir,  Swedish Radio Choir  ... 
    On sale! $17.99
    DVD: $14.99
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  • 20.
    Claudio Abbado conducts Mozart
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19075816312 Release Date: 05/25/2018   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 21.
    Rossini: Il barbiere di Siviglia / Abbado, Prey, Teatro alla Scala di Milano
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4799955 Release Date: 05/25/2018   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Luigi Roni,  Stefania Malagú,  Renato Cesari,  Enzo Dara  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
    CD: $48.99
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  • 22.
    Claudio Abbado: The Last Concert / Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Berlin Philharmonic   Catalog: 160089 Release Date: 05/04/2018   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Hector Berlioz
    Performer:  Stella Doufexis,  Deborah York
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra Women
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  • 23.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Kocherga, Ramey, Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19075811172 Release Date: 03/02/2018   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Samuel Ramey,  Anatoly Kocherga,  Marjana Lipovsek,  Sergei Leiferkus  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 24.
    Claudio Abbado: Opera Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4798008 Release Date: 10/27/2017   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Dorothea Röschmann,  Kurt Azesberger,  Hanno Müller-Brachmann,  Heidi Zehnder  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arnold Schoenberg Choir,  Mahler Chamber Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe
    CD: $207.49
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  • 25.
    Boston Symphony Orchestra: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4797718 Release Date: 10/20/2017   Number of Discs: 57
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Maurice Ravel,  Alexander Scriabin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Paul Zukofsky,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Teresa Berganza  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado,  Michael Tilson Thomas,  William Steinberg,  Rafael Kubelik  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Chamber Players
    Recommendation
    CD: $262.49
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