The Kennedy Center

Roberto Abbado


Roberto Abbado studied conducting with Franco Ferrara at La Fenice and at the Academia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, where he was honoured to be the only student in the Academy's history to be invited to conduct the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia. He is now highly acclaimed as an international conductor of both orchestral and operatic repertoire and works regularly with many of the world's leading musicians.

During the 2003/04 season Abbado's engagements in the USA include the Los Angeles Philharmonic (in their new Walt Disney Concert Hall), Philadelphia, San Francisco, St Louis, Baltimore and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. In Europe he will conduct the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Verdi, Maggio Musicali Fiorentini, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Helsinki Philharmonic and a new Graham Vick production of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra with the Teatro Regio di Torino. Future engagements include his debut appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw and Vienna Symphony Orchestras as well as return visits to Detroit, San Francisco, Baltimore, Houston, Minnesota and the RAI Orchestra in Turin.

Roberto Abbado was Chief Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1991-98, during which time he made seven recordings with the orchestra. He has worked extensively elsewhere in Europe including the Orchestra National de France, Dresden Staatskapelle, Hamburg NDR Symphony, Bamberg Symphony, Swedish Radio Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. In his native Italy he has particularly strong relationships with the great orchestras where he regularly conducts the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale in Florence and the RAI Orchestra in Turin.

Roberto Abbado made this North American concert debut in 1991 with the Orchestra of St Luke's at the Lincoln Center in New York. Since then he has become a very popular and well respected figure there, returning regularly to many of the top orchestras such as Boston Symphony, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony. He also collaborates with many of the most respected soloists including Midroi, Kennedy, Shaham, Bell, Bronfman, Uchida, Brendel, Lupu, Watts and Katia and Marielle Labèque.

Abbado is particularly respected for his work as an opera conductor and has performed many new productions and world premieres throughout North American and Europe. These include Fedora with Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera New York, I Verpri Siciliani at Vienna Staatsoper, La Giocaonda at La Scala in Milan, Aida and La Traviata at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and Le Comte Ory and Attila at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. He made his debut at the Bastille in Paris with Luci di Lammermoor.

He has made several recordings for BMG (RCA Red Seal) including award winning performances of Bellini's I Capuleti e I Montecchi and Rossini's Tancredi . Other BMG releases include Don Pasquale with Renato Bruson, Eva Mei, Frank Leopardo and Thomas Allen; Turandot with Eva Marton, Ben Heppner and Margaret Price and a disc of ballet music from Verdi operas. He has also recorded the two Liszt Piano Concerti with soloist Gerhard Oppitz; a collection of great tenor arias with Ben Happner and a CD of opera scenes with Carol Vaness, both with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester. For Decca, he has recorded Verismo Arias with Mirella Freni.

October 2003
Photo of Robert Abbado


  • Coronation Te Deum