Riccardo Chailly to be new music director of La Scala

James McCarthy17th Oct 2013

Unofficial reports have emerged in the Italian press that Riccardo Chailly will be the next music director of La Scala, Milan when Daniel Barenboim (always intended as a stop-gap head of the house) steps down in January 2017. It has long been suggested that this great Italian house wanted an Italian as its musical boss and Chailly – born and trained in Milan – would appear to be the right man for the job. Aged 20, Chailly served as assistant to La Scala's then-music director Claudio Abbado and it was at La Scala that he made his conducting debut.

Chailly's operatic experience was developed when he served as music director of the Teatro Comunale in Bologna (1986-93) and he was supposed to head the Opera in Leipzig in parallel with his role as music director of the Gewandhous Orchestra but he resigned from that role after a couple of years. 

The reports of the La Scala appointment were leaked by Milan's Corriere della Sera apparently after La Scala's new intendant Antonio Pereira was quoted as saying that the next music director would be Italian. The move is yet to be officially announced.

Chailly – whose brand-new Decca set of the Brahms symphonies is Gramophone's Recording of the Month in the November issue of the magazine – is about to embark on cycles of the four Brahms symphonies and concertos in Paris, Vienna and at London's Barbican Hall.



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