Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano

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About Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano

As the musical accompaniment for Italy’s most famous opera house, the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano has premiered classic operas by the likes of Verdi, Rossini, and Stockhausen. It has been led by a pantheon of illustrious conductors and enjoyed the demonstrative reactions of some of the world’s most impassioned fans. After La Scala opened in 1778, the orchestra was led by either its harpsichordist or first violinist until Alberto Mazzucato became its first conductor in 1854. Franco Faccio introduced independent concerts in 1872, and Arturo Toscanini, the opera’s principal conductor since 1898, became music director of the newly autonomous orchestra in 1921. Elite conductors Victor de Sabata, Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, and Riccardo Chailly have since manned the podium. Known for its consistently dynamic sound, the orchestra surpassed itself on the 1953 live recording of Puccini’s Tosca, which starred Maria Callas, was conducted by de Sabata, and has been cited by many as the finest opera recording of all time. In 1982, the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala reorganized as the Filarmonica della Scala and added a symphonic repertoire to its opera work. It has subsequently distinguished itself with Giulini’s early-’90s Beethoven symphony cycle and Chailly’s sensitive rendering of his friend Nino Rota’s music on The Fellini Album (2019).

Milan, Italy

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