RICCARDO CHAILLY devotes himself to both concert and operatic repertoire. The Milan native has conducted the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, 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, including 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 has 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 20th-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 U.S., 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, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands awarded him the title of Knight of the Order of the Dutch Lion. In 1998, he also became a Knight of the Grand Cross of the Republic of Italy.
In addition to his position in Amsterdam, on July 1, 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, became an internationally acclaimed ensemble and recorded ten CDs for the prestigious classical label Decca. Chailly 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 total. He has received many awards for his recordings, including several Edison Prizes and Gramophone awards, as well as the Diapason d’Or, the Charles Cros 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 as Gewandhauskapellmeister (Music Director) of the Gewandhaus Orchestra in September 2005, and has since released several acclaimed recordings with the ensemble.