Riccardo Chailly is to take over the helm of La Scala. The 60-year-old conductor is set to start his new role on 1 January 2015 as principal conductor, succeeding the world-famous opera house’s current music director, Daniel Barenboim. Chailly (pictured right) will become music director in 2017.
The official confirmation of Chailly’s appointment follows months of rumours about the post, including leaked information naming the Italian as a favourite. 'We are happy and proud,' said the Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, who made the announcement. It's not the only new appointment at La Scala, as the Austrian Alexander Pereira is set to take over from Stephane Lissner as the opera house's manager.
The Milan-born conductor made his conducting debut at La Scala and, 40 years ago, worked as assistant to Claudio Abbado, who then held the top post. Today Chailly also directs the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, whose recent recording of Brahms Symphonies was BBC Music Magazine’s Orchestral Choice. He’s recently extended his contract to stay with the German orchestra until 2020.