He then studied at the music conservatories in Perugia and Milan. He later studied conducting with Franco Ferrara. In his youth he also played drums in a rhythm and blues band. At the age of 20, Chailly became assistant conductor to Claudio Abbado at La Scala, Milan. He made his conducting debut there in 1978 and was soon in great demand, making appearances at the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Salzburg Festival and the Bavarian State Opera. From 1982 to 1988, Chailly was chief conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra and from 1983 to 1986 principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 1986 to 1993 he led the Teatro Comunale of Bologna. Riccardo Chailly was chief conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from 1988 to 2004, where he conducted works by Bruckner and Mahler with which the orchestra made its name. He also broadened the repertoire with 20th. century and contemporary music. He conducted opera in Amsterdam, where he made his operatic farewell with a production of Verdi's Don Carlo. In August 2005, Riccardo Chailly became the chief conductor of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig and general music director of Oper Leipzig. Chailly's recordings (with Decca) include complete cycles of the symphonies of Mahler and Bruckner.
More recently, with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, he has made recordings of Mendelssohn, Brahms and the Robert Schumann symphonies in reorchestration by Mahler. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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