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Claudio Abbado (1933 - 2014)

Claudio Abbado studied the piano with his father Michelangelo Abbado at the Milan Conservatory, as well as conducting and composition. After leaving the conservatory in 1955 he went on to study conducting with Hans Swarowsky at the Vienna Academy of Music. Throughout this period he was active as a singer in choirs, a key experience. In 1958 he won the Koussevitzky Conducting Competition at Tanglewood in the USA. He worked at the Parma Conservatory before making his début at La Scala, Milan in 1960 as part of the Scarlatti tercentenary celebrations. In 1963 he won the first prize in the Mitropoulos Conducting Competition in New York, an event that proved to be a major turning point in the development of his career. Herbert von Karajan offered him the opportunity to conduct at the Salzburg Festival and in 1965 he made his début there with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducting Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No 2 ‘Resurrection’.




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