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 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, Riccardo Chailly served as Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus, and he has held the position of 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. In the U.S., he has 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. For his more than 150 recordings, Chailly has received such distinctions as the Echo Klassik and the Gramophone Award. His latest releases with the Filarmonica della Scala are the 2022 album Musa Italiana with works by Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn and a recording of opera choruses by Verdi, which appeared in February 2023 for his 70th birthday. In 2015, he published a book of conversations about music titled Il segreto è nelle pause. 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 he has been an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France since 2011.
Lucerne Festival (IMF) debut on 7 September 1988 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam in a program of works by Wagenaar, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky