I appreciate and admire many great conductors, especially Bernard Haitink, Georg Solti, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Münch, Herbert von Karajan, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons, James Conlon, Myung-Wung Chung or Simon Rattle.
But more than any other, I have always held Claudio Abbado in high veneration. Every new publication of a recording is a great joy, and all his concerts I attended in Paris (where he comes too rarely) constitute unforgettable and incomparable moments.
Abbado gave me one of the greatest moments in my life: in the late seventies I was on summer holidays in Courchevel (French Alps) and I could attend Abbado's rehearsals with the European Youth Community Orchestra. He was conducting Bruckner's 7th symphony, Strawinsky's Firebird, Brahms' 2nd symphony, Berlioz' Roman Carnival Overture.
Claudio Abbado has been the Musical Director of the "Berliner Philharmoniker" during twelve years; in 2002 Sir Simon Rattle succeeded him at this position.
He conducts again the Berliner musicians every year, as in June 2004 in a memorable and incredible 6th symphony of Mahler (live recording published by Deutsche Grammophon and awarded by the magazine Gramophon as the recording of the year 2006) and in June 2005, for a concert devoted once again to his dear Gustav Mahler (4th symphony).
He has founded in 2002 the Lucern Festival Orchestra and he conducted its first concert on 14 august 2003. I had the great luck to be present at this exceptional concert in Lucerne; The program was including works by Wagner (Wotans Abschied from Die Walküre) and Debussy (Le Martyre de Saint-Sebastien and La Mer).
He will continue conducting regularly the European Chamber Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. He conducts also the Youth Orchestra Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Venezuela.
In december 2002 I have completed the composition of my third symphony, entitled "Aux Bien Brûlants Astres D'Or...", for choir and large orchestra (see catalogue). This symphony is a tribute to Claudio Abbado and it is dedicated to him.
After the concert on 14th August 2003, I had the privilege and the great emotion to offer to Claudio Abbado in person a copy of this score.
In order to share the passion I have for this great artist and exceptional man, below are a few links to sites which give informations on Abbado's discography, concerts or biography:
The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft
Sony Classical Artists