The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Statements on the Passing of Maestro Claudio Abbado

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and its Music Director, Riccardo Muti, mourn the passing of the great conductor Claudio Abbado, who, among his many musical achievements, was the Principal Guest Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1982 to 1985.

Maestro Muti said, "I am deeply saddened by the loss of a great musician, a man who for many decades has marked history in the world of conducting and musical interpretation for international institutions. His work is an immense testimony to the importance of European and Italian culture around the world. I admire him for the strong courage he showed in the face of a long and terrible illness, and for the seriousness and profundity that characterized his life as a musician and as a Maestro."

"We express our profound condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and fans around the world," said Deborah F. Rutter, President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association.

Martha Gilmer, Vice President of Artistic Planning and Audience Development (the Richard and Mary L. Gray Chair), worked with Abbado during his tenure as Principal Guest Conductor. "Claudio Abbado was inquisitive, and brought many new works to Chicago," Gilmer said. "His commitment to a wide range of music, his constant searching and his curiosity were an inspiration to work with. The last time I saw him, he asked me to tell the musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra how much he loved and respected them and the time he had with them."

About the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Its music director since 2010 is Riccardo Muti, one of the preeminent conductors of our day. The venerable Pierre Boulez is the CSO's Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus; celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma is the CSO's Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant. Composers Mason Bates and Anna Clyne are the CSO's Mead Composers-in-Residence.

More On: Pierre Boulez, Yo-Yo Ma, Ravinia Festival.

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by Peter Danish