Claudio Abbado made Senator for Life

Conductor honoured by Italian parliament

Claudio AbbadoConductor Claudio Abbado has been made a senator for life in Italy, the country's president announced last week.

The conductor, who made his debut at La Scala in Milan in 1960, went on to work as chief conductor with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and the LSO. His DVD recording of Mahler's Symphony No. 9 with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra won a BBC Music Magazine Award in 2012.

The Italian architect Renzo Piano, who was one of the creators of the Pompidou Centre in Paris; physicist Carlo Rubbia and stem cell researcher Elena Cattaneo were also honoured with the title.

The four senators will have voting rights in Italy's upper house of parliament.

The country's president, Giorgio Napolitano, said: 'I am sure that the four Life Senators who have been chosen will make a special contribution to their extremely significant fields and – in absolute independence of an party political considerations – to the activity of the Senate and the whole parliament.'

Abbado will conduct the Orchestra Mozart in their first UK appearance at the Southbank Centre on 1 October.

Josephine Franks