Italian conductor Claudio Abbado dies

Claudio Abbado has died at the age of 80 after a long illness, the Milan opera house Teatro alla Scala has announced. The Italian was revered across the musical globe. Abbado, who was a former director of La Scala, was once described by the Financial Times as the world’s greatest conductor. Among the many orchestras he conducted was the London Symphony Orchestra – the LSO between 1979 and 1988. Abbado was named an Italian Senator for Life last August. The conductor had been diagnosed with cancer in 2000 and succumbed to another bout of illness four years ago forcing La Scala to cancel concerts in which he had been due to take the baton. He was born into a musical family in Milan in 1933 and trained at the Milan Conservatoire before studying in Vienna.