Riccardo Chailly has been Music Director of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra since 2016. Born in Milan in 1953, he studied at the conservatories of Perugia, Rome, and Milan, as well as at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, and began his career as an assistant to Claudio Abbado at La Scala in Milan. In 1980, Chailly was appointed Chief Conductor of the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin, and, in 1988, he took on the same position with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, which he led for 16 years. From 2005 to the summer of 2016, Chailly served as head of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in Leipzig, and he has been Music Director at La Scala in Milan since January 2015. Chailly regularly conducts such leading European orchestras as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. He has also worked with the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. As an opera conductor — in addition to his appearances at La Scala — he has performed at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera House, Zurich Opera, and the Bavarian and Vienna Staatsoper companies, as well as in Chicago and San Francisco. Chailly has won acclaim for his more than 150 recordings, including the Echo Klassik and Gramophone Award. His most recent releases are a Stravinsky edition which appeared in 2021 and includes recordings with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and an album with the Filarmonica della Scala of music by Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn: Musa Italiana, released in May 2022. His book of conversations about music, Il segreto è nelle pause, appeared in 2015. Riccardo Chailly is a Grand’Ufficiale della Repubblica Italiana, a Cavaliere di Gran Croce, and a Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion. The Royal Academy of Music in London named him an honorary member in 1996, and since 2011 he has been an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France.
Lucerne Festival (IMF) debut on 7 September 1988 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam in a program of works by Wagenaar, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky