Roberto Abbado studied conducting under Franco Ferrara at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He is Music Director at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia and was recently named Musical Director of the Verdi Festival of Parma. He previously served as music director of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1991 to 1998 and as artistic partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Abbado has conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre National de France, Orchestre de Paris, Staatskapelle Dresden, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, NDR Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale in Florence, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, and the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, to name a few. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1999.
In recent seasons, Mr. Abbado led La Favorite at the Salzburg Festival; Don Pasquale, Samson et Dalila, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I vespri siciliani at the Palau de les Arts; Lucia di Lammermoor at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma; Norma at Turin’s Teatro Regio; Macbeth and Parsifal at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna; Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera; Simon Boccanegra in Hong Kong on a tour with the Teatro Regio; Benvenuto Cellini and Andrea Chénier at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma; and Norma at the Teatro Real in Madrid.
A passionate interpreter of contemporary music, Mr. Abbado’s repertory includes works by composers such as Berio, Salvatore Sciarrino, Luca Francesconi, Pascal Dusapin, Dutilleux, Messiaen, Henze, Ned Rorem, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, Charles Wuorinen, and John Adams. His recordings include Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi (named BBC Magazine’s Best Recording of the Year) and an ECHO Klassik winning album of Rossini’s Tancredi. Other opera recordings include Don Pasquale, Turandot, Verismo Arias with Mirella Freni, L’Amour and Arias for Rubini with Juan Diego Flórez, Bel Canto (recipient of the ECHO Klassik award in 2009) with Elina Garanča, and Fedora with Mirella Freni and Plácido Domingo. Mr. Abbado can also be seen on three DVDs from the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro: Ermione, on the Dynamic label; Zelmira with Juan Diego Flórez, Kate Aldrich, and Gregory Kunde on Decca; and Mosè in Egitto with Sonia Ganassi, Dmitry Korchak, Riccardo Zanellato and Alex Esposito on Opus Arte.