Daniel Barenboim to be La Scala’s musical director

(AFP) – 3 days ago  MILAN — World-famous conductor Daniel Barenboim will take up the post of musical director at Italy’s world renowned La Scala opera house from December until the end of 2016, the Milan theatre said on Thursday.

The Israeli-Argentinian musician will open the 2011-2012 season by directing Mozart’s Don Giovanni, staged by Canadian Robert Carsen. Barenboim will spend 15 weeks a year at La Scala, where he is already principle guest conductor.

La Scala’s former music director Riccardo Muti stepped down from the post in 2005 after 20 years following a blazing row over artistic differences with management and the position had remained vacant since then.

Since Muti’s departure, Barenboim has held the honourary title of “Maestro of La Scala,” producing at least two operas a year.

The Milan opera house’s artistic director, Frenchman Stephane Lissner, said the theatre was pleased to strengthen further “a close relationship with one of the biggest orchestral directors of our time.”

“In 2005, after the triumph of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, the orchestra asked for Barenboim to be made musical director immediately. He turned us down and we created the Maestro title… making him part of the La Scala family,” he said.

Milan mayor Giuliano Pisapia, who heads the La Scala foundation, said Barenboim’s appointment “confirms once more that La Scala is an international reference for culture and music.”

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