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Musical World

Riccardo Chailly

  • Conductor


Riccardo Chailly was Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1983 to 1986 and Chief Conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1982 to 1989. From 1986 to 1993 he was Music Director of the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, where he conducted numerous opera productions with resounding success. Since his appointment as Chief Conductor of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra (1988 to 2004), he has also devoted himself increasingly to symphonic repertoire. He delights a steadily growing audience not only with his performances of the great standard works but with many twentieth-century works as well.

He has led the Concertgebouw Orchestra on numerous tours to the major European festivals (Vienna Festival and London Proms, among others) and recently completed the Millennium Tour with concerts in the US, Canada, Japan, and Europe. Tours with his Dutch orchestra have also taken him to South America, China, Korea, and Taiwan. In 1994, he was awarded the title of Grand Officer of the Republic of Italy, and in 1996, he was made an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London. In November 1998, on the occasion of his tenth anniversary as Chief Conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands awarded him the title of Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion.

In 1998, he also became a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Republic of Italy. In addition to his position in Amsterdam, on 1 July 1999, Riccardo Chailly accepted an appointment as Music Director of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Under its new Music Director, this municipal orchestra, founded by citizens of Milan, has become an internationally acclaimed ensemble, which has since recorded ten CDs for the prestigious classical label Decca. He left the rchestra in 2005.

Riccardo Chailly has an exclusive contract with Decca and has recorded an extensive repertoire of symphonic works and operas, over 100 CDs all told. He has received many awards for his recordings, including several Edison Prizes and Gramophone Awards, as well as the Diapason d’Or, the Charles Cross Academy Award, Japan's Unga Konotomo Award, the Toblach Komponierhäuschen (Composition Cottage) Award, and numerous Grammy nominations. The magazines Diapason and Gramophone recently named him "Artist of the Year."