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Italian conductor Claudio Abbado dies at 80

Mr. Abbado was communicative at the podium and enjoyed working with young musicians.
Mr. Abbado was communicative at the podium and enjoyed working with young musicians.Eddy Risch/European pressphoto agency/file 2007

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ROME — Claudio Abbado, a star in the great generation of Italian conductors revered for developing a rapport with members of the world’s leading orchestras while still allowing them their independence, died Monday. He was 80.

Mr. Abbado died at home in Bologna after a long illness, said Raffaella Grimaudo, spokeswoman for the Bologna mayor’s office.

Mr. Abbado made his debut in 1960 at La Scala in his home city of Milan and went on to be its music director for nearly 20 years. Among his many other positions were as music director of the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin Philarmonic, and the London Symphony Orchestra and as principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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