© Miro Zagnoli
Roberto Abbado was born in Milan and studied the piano with Paolo Bordoni and composition with Bruno Bettinelli at the Conservatory in his native city. He then was tutored in musical direction at the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome and Venice’s La Fenice under Franco Ferrara. The conductor of the Radio Munich Orchestra from 1991 to 1998 and then the conductor of Valencia’s Palau de la Musica from 2015 to 2019, he is currently the music director of the Verdi Festival in Parma.
He has led numerous international symphonic ensembles including the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre National de France, the Orchestre de Paris, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Gewandhausorchester and the MDR-Sinfonieorchester of Leipzig, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Accadémie Santa Cecilia Orchestra in Rome, the Maggio musicale fiorentino Orchestra, and the RAI Symphony Orchestra. He was the first Italian conductor to lead the traditional New Year’s concert at Venice’s La Fenice in 2008.
He makes regular guest appearances at many of the great opera houses and festivals, including the New York Metropolitan Opera, the Vienna Staatsoper, Milan’s La Scala, the Rome Opera, the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Teatro Regio in Turin, the Rossini Festival in Pesaro, the Spoleto Festival, and the Paris Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor, La Donna del lago).
More recently, he conducted La Favorite at the Salzburg Festival, Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera and the Monte Carlo Opera, La Damnation de Faust, I Masnadieri, Rigoletto, and Lucia di Lammermoor at Valencia’s Palau de La Musica, Il Trovatore, Luisa Miller, Macbeth, and Verdi’s Requiem at the Teatro Regio in Parma, and Lucia di Lammermoor, and I Puritani (in concert) at the Rome Opera.
Roberto Abbado has conducted the works of accomplished contemporary composers like Luciano Berio, Bruno Maderna, Goffredo Petrassi, Sylvano Bussotti, Niccolò Castiglioni, Azio Corghi, Ivan Fedele, Luca Francesconi, Giorgio Battistelli, Michele dall’Ongaro, Giacomo Manzoni, Salvatore Sciarrino, Fabio Vacchi, Pascal Dusapin, Henri Dutilleux, Olivier Messiaen, Alfred Schnittke, Hans Werner Henze, Helmut Lachenmann, John Adams, Ned Rorem, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, Charles Wuorinen and Silvia Colasanti.
In 2008, he received the Franco Abbiati Prize from the National Association of Music Critics in Italy.
Back to top