Filarmonica della Scala
Filarmonica della Scala was first set up by Claudio Abbado and the musicians of La Scala Opera House in 1982 with the objective of developing a symphonic repertoire in order to add a further dimension to La Scala’s great operatic tradition. The following year Filarmonica formed a separate Association. Carlo Maria Giulini conducted the Orchestra in more than 90 concerts and took it on its first international tours. Riccardo Muti then became the Principal Conductor from 1987 to 2005, helping the Orchestra to grow artistically and establishing it as a regular visitor to some of the most prestigious international concert halls. The Orchestra has also been able to develop fruitful collaborative relations with some of the greatest conductors of the time: Georges Prêtre, Lorin Maazel and Wolfgang Sawallisch, for example, worked with the Orchestra in its first concert seasons and then became honorary member together with Valery Gergiev. Over the years came other important contributions, from directors such as Leonard Bernstein, Semyon Bychkov, Myung-Whun Chung, James Conlon, Gustavo Dudamel, Peter Eötvös, Christoph Eschenbach, John Eliot Gardiner, Valery Gergiev, Philippe Jordan, Zubin Mehta, Gianandrea Noseda, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Gennadij Rozdestvenskij, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Yuri Temirkanov and Franz Welser–Möst. From 2006 Filarmonica has intensified its relations with Daniel Barenboim, Riccardo Chailly, Daniel Harding, Daniele Gatti and Valery Gergiev. Important milestones in recent years have included the Orchestra’s debut in the United States with Riccardo Chailly and in China with Myung-Whun Chung, respectively in 2007 and in 2008, the year that marked its return to the Musikverein in Vienna under Daniele Gatti. In 2009 Filarmonica gave its first concert at the Berlin Philharmonie under Daniel Barenboim, and came back to Paris with Pierre Boulez and Maurizio Pollini. 2010 concerts included a return trip to Asia with Semyon Bychkov for the Shanghai Expo and in Berlin under the baton of Diego Matheuz. In 2011 Filarmonica has been conducted on tour by Semyon Bychkov, Riccardo Chailly, Daniel Harding, Gianandrea Noseda and Georges Prêtre. In March 2015 Filarmonica Orchestra will play at the Royal Concertgebouw, the Amsterdam concert hall, and, in June, will be in Sarajevo for a deeply symbolic concert: an interdenominational peace celebration after 20 years from the end of the Bosnian conflict.
The same year, in addition to the annual season at Teatro La Scala, Filarmonica will inaugurate Discovery, a new cycle of concerts that will take place at Teatro degli Arcimboldi during Expo 2015. For the third consecutive year will host the great Concerto per Milano in Piazza Duomo, a recognised and acclaimed event which has made 40.000 people attendance only in the last year, under the direction of Riccardo Chailly and the violin solo David Garrett.
Filarmonica has commissioned new pieces to composers Giorgio Battistelli, Carlo Boccadoro, Azio Corghi, Luis de Pablo, Pascal Dusapin, Peter Eötvös, Ivan Fedele, Matteo Franceschini, Luca Francesconi, Salvatore Sciarrino, Giovanni Sollima and Fabio Vacchi.
The Orchestra has a history of involvement in promoting music for the new generations: Filarmonica will open concerts’ rehearsals to schools and thanks to the initiative “Sound, Music!” will directly address primary school children. It also has a long association with Milan’s main scientific institutions and voluntary bodies, organising special concerts for their benefit and a series of open rehearsals belonging to the cycle “Filarmonica della Scala meets the city”.
Moreover, Filarmonica has made numerous recordings for music labels such as Sony, Decca and Emi, including the album “Viva Verdi” (Decca) with Riccardo Chailly celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Together with Sony have started working on a new project, “900 Italiano”, composed by 3 DVD directed by Georges Prêtre, Fabio Luisi and Gianandrea Noseda.
Some of the Filarmonica concerts are recorded for subsequent television broadcast by Rai and broadcasted live by Radio3. From 2012, thanks to the “MusicEmotion” project, Filarmonica della Scala is able to bring a selection of concerts in some of the most prestigious Italian and foreign cinema theatres.
The activities of the Filarmonica della Scala are not subsidised by public funds. It does however receive support from UniCredit, the Orchestra’s main institutional partner.