Naxos joins with classical music lovers around the world in expressing profound sadness at the news of the death of Claudio Abbado on 20 January, 2014.
The Italian maestro served his art with utmost devotion and consummate skill in a career spanning more than half a century. Following his launch into prominence by winning the 1958 Koussevitsky Conducting Competition at Tanglewood in the USA, he went on to conduct the world's finest orchestras with an authority over so many different styles and genres, be it in the opera-house pit or on the concert hall podium.
While his musical insight in performance earned him the respect of countless music lovers, his educational initiatives also contributed significantly to the legacy he now leaves behind. He was responsible for the foundation of two major youth orchestras – the European Union Youth Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra – and was also closely involved with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, acting as its artistic adviser. Following the creation of an international composers’ competition in Vienna, he expanded the Salzburg Easter Festival, of which he became artistic director in 1994, to include prizes for composition.
There follows a compilation of performances that gratefully record the versatility of Maestro Abbado's musicianship. The classical music world has indeed lost a great figure of enormous influence.