Since his musical début as music director of the La Scala Opera House in Milan in 1960, Claudio Abbado has given fresh colour to the music of the great symphony masters, such as Beethoven, Brahms or Bruckner, and gave to neglected works by Schubert or Berlioz – among others – their rightful place in the repertoire again. Exploring every musical horizon, Claudio Abbado has been througout his career keen to champion 20th-century figures, from Schoenberg and his disciples to Italian contemporary composers, while deepening continuously his understanding of Mahler's symphonic world. By showing to the world and his peers that music needs as much artistic excellence as moral rigour, Claudio Abbado, genuine musician and humanist, is a model for the young generation to live up to.
To pay tribute to Claudio Abbado on the occasion of his 80th birthday, Michael Beyer directed a feature that throws a glance at Abbado's work with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, documented by excerpts from rehearsals and concert recordings as well as personal interviews with the maestro talking about the composers to whom he dedicated his life.
2004 Lucerne Festival Opening Concert
Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra