Tributes paid to Claudio Abbado

Tributes from around the world are being paid to Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, who has died aged 80.

Abbado is widely regarded as one of the industry’s most distinguished conductors. He began his career at La Scala in 1960, where he later became musical director until 1986. He was the principal conductor of London Symphony Orchestra from 1979-1988, musical director of Wiener Staatsoper from 1986-1991, and principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic from 1990-2002.

Helga Rabl-Stadler, president of the Salzburg Festival, where Abbado performed many engagements, said: ‘The music world has lost one of its very greatest. He never sought to triumph, but probably that is why his interpretations became such triumphs.

‘We in Salzburg must also bid farewell to a musician who gave our audiences extraordinary experiences for decades. There are few conductors whose reviews used the words ‘magic moments’ so often. Few other conductors received such surging waves of applause even after difficult works. The festival is grateful that we were able to have him here in Salzburg. He lives on in us through his work.’

Abbado also played a key role in the success of the Lucerne Festival, and helped found the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

Michael Haefliger, executive and artistic director of the Lucerne Festival, said: ‘He wasn’t a man of big words, nor was he a fan of long rehearsal discussions; instead, the artistic process that took shape when he conducted consisted of a kind of silent close listening – to and with one another – all based on the confidence that it was only during the live performance of the concert itself that the ultimate pinnacle of interpretation was to be found.’

Friends, colleagues and fellow musicians took to social media to pay their respects. Leave us your memories of the legendary conductor in the comments section below.