Just in: Abbado’s orchestra is shut down

Just in: Abbado’s orchestra is shut down


norman lebrecht

January 11, 2014

The Orchestra Mozart has announced that it is suspending operations as of today, January 11.

The orchestra, founded in Bologna in 2004 by Claudio Abbado, said it could not continue in the face of financial difficulties. Abbado, who is in deteriorating health, has not conducted since September and any new private sponsorship it could raise was conditional on his involvement.

The nine members of staff left the building yesterday, taking with them all personal effects.

The orchestra has not cancelled a date in Oman at the end of the month with the pianist Maurizio Pollini, it is not clear how this can go ahead.



  • Wagamama says:

    Althouhgh it is always a pity that an institution closes, there was never an orchestra in the normal sense of the word. It was a pick up orchestra tailored for Abbado – no musician has lost his job. They have also not paid artists for several months now. I wonder if it is a way to avoid paying their debts.

  • squirrel says:

    That’s heartbreaking. Any news on Abbado’s state? Haven’t heard anything in quite a while. He is oddly still slated to conduct at Luzern this summer.

  • sdReader says:

    This orchestra achieved phenomenal standards in its neat, modern concert hall in central Bologna, and on tour.

    The news is doubly sad. Not only is Claudio unable to conduct, but all the momentum they had is lost and the terrific group of artists they assembled, including two promising conductors, is prevented from pursuing the goals and principles set by the maestro.

    I will be there on Monday and will try to make contact.

    So sad, too, that sponsor commitments hinged on the Abbado name and not on the artistic product he stood for!

  • sdReader says:

    This superlative Pergolesi collection is a fitting memento (and belongs in any serious library of late Baroque music):


    … and I am not given to promoting records!

  • There’s always a solution! Change the mold! Stop applying 1960’s answers to 2014 realities. It’s so sad to see brilliant arts institutions closing because of an inability to look outside of the box…

  • Jheronymus says:

    The statement on the webiste of the Orchestra speaks clearly of a TEMPORARY suspension and not of a definitive shut down: La Direzione comunica che a partire dall’11 gennaio 2014 le attività dell’Orchestra Mozart e dello Staff sono temporaneamente sospese.


    Let’s hope the suspension will be short.

  • sdReader says:

    I saw that. If the Muscat concerts happen next month, with or without Claudio, there is hope. They would bring positive cashflow. They and the Rome dates (Feb. 5, 6, 14, 15 and 16) have not been cancelled.

    But my sense is that this is a way to let people down gently, about more than just the closure of the orchestra.

  • Rgiarola says:

    What else I would say, beside all already said here? Well, I’ve got tickets for Mendelsshon 2° at Musikverein on June with Mozart Orch and Abbado. At least it was the thing stamped on the tickets. Sad news

  • ‘No man is God but man can do great and wonderful things with God by his or her side’ All things will pass but for Heavens Kingdom, the path to which is Love, Grace and Redemption. The souls of mankind need to be nourished by bread, by fellowship and by the shared expressions of the heart. May there be a new path built on strong foundations and an understanding of Abbedos artistic ethos to unravel even more radiance, healing and hope for generations that follow. Be blessed and be a blessing!