Daniel Barenboim has been named musical director of Milan’s iconic La Scala opera house, filling a post left vacant when Riccardo Muti stormed out in 2005 amid artistic differences. Barenboim, 68, who is already principal guest conductor for La Scala, will assume his new post on December 1, La Scala said.
For the last five years Barenboim has been Maestro of La Scala, a less formal title under which he has produced at least two operas a year. This arrangement was due to lapse this year. Barenboim will serve as musical director until the end of 2016, and will be present at the opera house 15 weeks a year for concerts, operas and tours.
Making the announcement “with great satisfaction and pride,” La Scala Superintendent Stephane Lissner called Barenboim “one of the greatest conductors of our time”.
The appointment, Lissner said, would launch “a broad-scale European project which strengthens La Scala internally and at the same time opens it up to new prospects on the world stage”.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.