This celebrated conductor has been praised for his sophisticated, clear, and compelling approach to a wide range of lyric and dramatic styles and composers.
Abbado was born into a family of Italian musicians extending back more than three generations. He undertook his conducting studies with Franco Ferrara at La Fenice, Venice, and also at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He was the only student in the history of the academy to be asked to conduct the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia. At the age of 23, he directed his first opera, Simon Boccanegra. During the next six years, he appeared at La Scala in Milan, the Vienna State Opera, La Fenice, Zurich Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and in the opera houses of Florence, Rome, and Bologna. Since then, Abbado has premiered many contemporary operas and led opera revivals.