Abbado, Roberto, Italian conductor, nephew of Claudio Abbado and Marcello Abbado; b. Milan, Dec. 30, 1954. He was a student of Ferrara in Venice and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome (1976–77). While still a student, he appeared as a guest conductor with the Orch. di Santa Cecilia in 1977. In 1978 he made his debut as an opera conductor with Simon Boccanegra at the Macerata Festival. After conducting in Verona (1979) and Venice and Palermo (1980), he made his debut at the Vienna State Opera conducting II Barbiere di Siviglia at the Zurich Opera and Don Carlo at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. He made his debut at Milan’s La Scala with Il Barbiere di Siviglia in 1983, and at the Teatro Comunale in Florence with L’Italiana in Algeri in 1986. In 1990 he conducted Adriana Lecouvreur at his first appearance at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. In 1991 he made his North American debut as a guest conductor with the Orch. of St. Luke’s in N.Y. From 1991 to 1998 he was chief conductor of the Munich Radio Orch. In 1992 he conducted La forza del destino at his first appearance at the San Francisco Opera. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in N.Y. on March 3, 1994, conducting Adriana Lecouvreur, and that year made his first appearance at the Hamburg State Opera with Aida. In 1995 he conducted Lucia di Lammermoor at the Opéra de la Bastille in Paris, and in 1996 Norma at the Houston Grand Opera. He also appeared as a guest conductor with many orchs. on both sides of the Atlantic.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire