Breaking: La Scala has a new music director

In a tremendous coup for the incoming intendant, Alexander Pereira, the hometown maestro Riccardo Chailly has agreed to become music director from January 2017 – or so Pereira leaks to Corriere.

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The coup, if true, is a terrific boost for the unsettled opera house. Chailly, 60, grew up at La Scala when his father, Luciano, was sovrintendente and Claudio Abbado was music director. It was a golden age and Riccardo became Abbado’s assistant.

He went on to lead the radio orchestra in Berlin, the Teatro Communale in Bologna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and, for the past decade, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig. For technique, expertise and respect among musicians, his credentials are unrivalled.

Daniel Barenboim is music director at La Scala until mid-2016. There are suggestions in the report that Chailly might start sooner (although he is committed to Leipzig until 2020). He has been repeatedly wooed by La Scala since Riccardo Muti’s resignation in 2005. His return would end a prevalent sense of stasis and interregnum.

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    • To my ears his recent recordings sound fresher than ever. He started out as a good conductor and has matured into a great one.

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