Conductor Riccardo Chailly


Riccardo Chailly devotes himself to both concert and operatic repertoire. The native of Milan has conducted the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared at the most important opera houses throughout the world: Milan´s La Scala (where he made his debut in 1978), the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, London´s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and the Zürich Opera. He opened the Salzburg Festival in 1984 and appeared as guest conductor at Salzburg´s Easter Festival and at the Lucerne Festival.
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, he was awarded the title of Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. 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 Orchestra 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."
Riccardo Chailly’s first artistic encounter with the Gewandhaus Orchestra took place at the Salzburg Festival in 1986. He took up his position in the dual capacity of Music Director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and General Music Director of the Leipzig Opera in September 2005.
Riccardo Chailly´s first CD/DVD with the Gewandhaus Ochestra was released in September 2005. The recording includes the inaugural concert of 2 September 2005 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus and recieved the ECHO Klassik award 2006. The CD including Schumann´s Symphonies 2 and 4 (arr. by Mahler) and the CD including Concertos for Violin from Mendelssohn and Bruch with the soloist Jannine Jansen received the ECHO Klassik awards 2007.
The double CD of Johannes Brahms´s Piano Concertos Nelson Freire as soloist, was released during the concert tour through Europe in March 2006 and recieved the Diapason d’Or de L’année.
This recording was nominated for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in
the category 100: "Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance with
The DVD with the recording of the “Grand Concert” given on 1 - 2 June 2006 with pianist Martha Argerich was released in October 2006.
In 2006 the Gewandhaus Orchestra was named "Editor´s Choice" by Gramophone Magazine for the innovative "Decca Concerts," which make live recordings of great concerts available for downloading from iTunes.
The double CD of Johannes Brahms´s Piano Concertos Nelson Freire as soloist received the Gramophone Award 2007 as “Best in category concert” and was named “Recording of the Year”.
Further releases will cover Robert Schumann´s Symphonies 1 and 3 and Johann Sebastian Bach´s Six Brandenburg Concertos.