|In this photo (at left) released
Teatro alla Scala, Italian conductor Riccardo Chailly, left, and
Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli acknowledge the applause at the
end of Giuseppe Verdi's "Aida" for the opening season at La Scala
theater, in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006. Zeffirelli's return
to La Scala after more than a dozen years created an unprecedented
buzz: tickets reserved for sale online for all eleven showings of
"Aida'' sold out in a record two hours. The glitz and attention
surrounding the Milan season opener underlines La Scala's return to the
center of the cultural scene, not only in Italy, after several years
marked by tensions over the landmark opera house's management. (AP
Photo/Marco Brescia/Teatro alla Scala)
|Milan-born Riccardo Chailly
studied at the Conservatorio in Perugia,
Rome and Milan, specializing at the Siena summer courses with Franco
Ferrara. From 1982 to 1989, he was principal conductor of the Berlin
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, and from 1982 to 1985 principal guest
conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. From 1986 until 1993,
he led the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, where he conducted many greatly
successful opera productions. In 1986 he has been appointed chief
conductor and in 2002 conductor emeritus of the Royal Concertgebouw
Orchestra. From September 1999 to 2005 Riccardo Chailly was the Musical
Director of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. In
September 2005 Riccardo Chailly became chief conductor of the
Gewandhausorchester and music director of the Oper Leipzig.
Riccardo Chailly is a conductor whose activities range from the symphonic to the operatic repertoire. He conducted the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris. He also performed at the world's most famous opera houses, including La Scala in Milan (where he made his debut in 1978), the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera and Covent Garden in London (1979 debut), the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Zürich Opera. In 1984, Riccardo Chailly opened the Salzburg Festival, where he also conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1988, 1996 and 1998. Has also conducted at the city's Easter Festival.
Riccardo Chailly led the Concertgebouw in numerous tours to the main European festivals (Salzburg, Lucerne, Vienna Festwochen, and London Proms) as well as to Japan, Korea, China, and North and South America. In 2001 he returned to conduct the Berliner Philharmoniker. In 2002 he led the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi in his first European tour, in France, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland, and in 2003 in Japan and Bruxelles, both with great success of critics and audience. In January 2004 he toured with the Orchestra to the Festival de Musica de Canarias. In May 2005 he led the Orchestra on a European tour to Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Germany, Austria and Hungary.
In 1994 Riccardo Chailly was entitled Grand'Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana, and was made an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London in 1996. During the 10th anniversary as chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in November 1998, he was knighted by Queen Beatrix, receiving the title of 'Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion.' In Italy he was entitled, also in 1998, ‘Cavaliere di gran Croce della Repubblica Italiana’. In 2003 he received the “Antonio Feltrinelli” award by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei of Rome, for his work as conductor in Italy. In November 2005 he was awarded his second Toblacher Komponierhauschen and the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik by Germany.
Riccardo Chailly has an exclusive contract with Decca. He has recorded a broad repertoire on CD which won many prizes, including Gramophone Awards, Diapasons d'Or, Edisons, the Academy Charles Cross Award, the Japanese Unga Knonotomo Award, the Toblacher Komponierhäuschen and several Grammy Nominations. Recently he was declared 'Artist of the year' by two important magazines, the French magazine Diapason and the British magazine Gramophone. With the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi he has recorded several CDs, including a new recording of orchestra transcriptions by Luciano Berio. September 2005 saw his first release as Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus with a live recording of his inaugural concert from the Gewandhaus itself featuring works by Mendelssohn. Future projects include Brahms Piano Concertos nos 1 & 2 with Nelson Freire in Spring 2006 and the Mendelssohn and Bruch Violin Concertos with Janine Jansen in Autumn 2006 – both are with the Leipzig GewandhausOrchester.
Decca Records, November 2005 --
This interview was recorded at the Drake Hotel in Chicago on
1990. Portions were used on WNIB
(along with musical examples) in 1993, 1998 and 1999. The
transcription was made in 2008 and posted on this
website in October of that year.
To see a full list (with links) of interviews which have been transcribed and posted on this website, click here.
Award - winning broadcaster Bruce Duffie was with WNIB, Classical 97 in Chicago from 1975 until its final moment as a classical station in February of 2001. His interviews have also appeared in various magazines and journals since 1980, and he now continues his broadcast series on WNUR-FM, as well as on Contemporary Classical Internet Radio.You are invited to visit his website for more information about his work, including selected transcripts of other interviews, plus a full list of his guests. He would also like to call your attention to the photos and information about his grandfather, who was a pioneer in the automotive field more than a century ago. You may also send him E-Mail with comments, questions and suggestions.