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Filarmonica, 40 Years of History

25 January 1982
Claudio Abbado founded Filarmonica della Scala together with La Scala musicians, following the model of the Vienna Philharmonic, with the aim of developing the symphonic repertoire in the context of the theatre's operatic tradition.
1982, the first statute
Filarmonica della Scala is set up as an independent association. The articles of association stipulate that only orchestral professors employed by Teatro alla Scala may be members. The members' meeting elects the Board of Directors, which has a three-year term of office and is made up of ten musicians from the orchestra and seven external board members from Milan's business and cultural world. The Board in turn appoints the President and the Artistic Conductor .

1983, the European footprint
In the year after its birth Filarmonica della Scala already reveals a European footprint. It began touring abroad with its first concert conducted by Claudio Abbado in Lugano.

1984, Leonard Bernstein
When he took the podium of the Philharmonic Orchestra on June 23, 1984, Leonard Bernstein was already full of La Scala memories: in 1953 he was the first American to conduct the orchestra at La Scala and in the same year he was given the task of conducting Medea with Maria Callas, whom he directed again in La sonnambula
in 1955. His last meeting with the La Scala orchestra took place in 1983 for a programme of Stravinsky's music.

1985, Carlo Maria Giulini
Filarmonica della Scala boasts a long artistic and human relationship with Conductor: in 97 concerts Giulini has tackled all the cornerstones of the Austrian and German symphonic repertoire, from Beethoven (of whom he has recorded six CDs with symphonies from No. 1 to No. 8) to Schubert, from Schumann to Brahms and Bruckner, but also Mozart and French and Russian composers.

1987, Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti, Conductor Principal from 1987 to 2005, promoted its artistic growth and made it a constant guest in the most prestigious international concert halls. With him Filarmonica della Scala shapes its own stylistic and timbral identity.

1988, Giuseppe Sinopoli
In just 11 concerts between 1988 and 1999, 10 of which at alla Scala and one in Tokyo, Giuseppe Sinopoli managed to leave an interpretive mark
on the history of the orchestra. The repertoire choices turn resolutely towards the Austrian and German tradition, from Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert to Brahms, Mahler and Strauss. Schoenberg's Pelleas und Melisande and Zemlinsky's Lyrische Symphonie are heard for the first time.

1996, the first international tours
Muti conducted at the Vienna Festwochen in '96 and gave concerts with Filarmonica della Scala at the Salzburg and Lucerne festivals and in the major capitals of Europe and Asia.

1998, contemporary music
The commissions of symphonic pieces to Italian and foreign composers that have punctuated the orchestra's seasons since 1998 are a testament to the Filarmonica's innate interest in contemporary music.

1994, the Milano Musica Festival
A further milestone in the relationship between Filarmonica della Scala and today's music is the collaboration with Milano Musica, a contemporary music festival in Milan. The collaboration began in 1994, when the Festival commissioned the transcription of a piece by Giovanni Gabrieli from the Italian composer Claudio Ambrosini.
2003, UniCredit
UniCredit has been accompanying Filarmonica della Scala since 2003 as MainPartner, sharing its objectives and innovative spirit and supporting, in addition to the concert season at Teatro alla Scala, the development of tours in Italy and abroad, and the implementation of initiatives in the educational and social field.

2005, a new role
The interruption in 2005 of the relationship with Riccardo Muti and Fedele Confalonieri, President since 2000, set the orchestra at a turning point. Ernesto Schiavi, who returned to lead the association as Conductor Artistico, relaunched the orchestra's international role with a series of European and intercontinental tours, shifted the centre of gravity of the repertoire towards the 20th century and opened up to new listening experiences, from Tan Dun to Bobby McFerrin.

2006, Daniel Barenboim
Between 2006 and 2012 Daniel Barenboim conducted Filarmonica della Scala in 47 concerts including the season openings 2007/2008 with Lang Lang, 2008/2009 with Radu Lupu, 2011/2012 with Anna Prohaska and 2012/2013 with Cecilia Bartoli, and led Filarmonica della Scala on tours to Athens, Berlin, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Lugano, Luxembourg, Paris and Wiesbaden. He was Conductor Musicale della Scala from 2011 to 2015.

2007, the US debut
Filarmonica della Scala in 2007 he made his debut in the United States and Canada with Riccardo Chailly, with a triumphant tour that toured Chicago, Toronto, Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

2008, the debut in China
In September 2008, Myung-Whun Chung leads a tour that marks a return to Japan and Korea with the participation of Lang Lang, and a debut in China. 2008 is also the year that marks a return to the Vienna Musikverein with Daniele Gatti.

2009, Berlin and Paris
In April 2009 the orchestra made its debut at the Philharmonie in Berlin with Daniel Barenboim, Conductor music of Teatro alla Scala. With Barenboim Filarmonica della Scala gave concerts in Athens, Istanbul, Luxembourg and Wiesbaden in July 2010, while 2011 saw the return of Georges Prêtre to the podium for a series of concerts in France and Spain.

2009, solidarity with the Open rehearsals
Filarmonica della Scala Since 2009, it has been increasing initiatives aimed at creating a direct link between the world of culture and that of solidarity, working alongside the main scientific institutions and voluntary associations in the city of Milan, for which it organises dedicated concerts and the Open rehearsals cycle "La Filarmonica della Scala incontra la città".

2011, Sound, Music!
Committed to the promotion of music among the younger generation, the orchestra opens rehearsals for all of the season's concerts to schools, and with the Sound, Music! initiative it targets primary school children.

2012, Filarmonica della Scala at the cinema
The concerts of Filarmonica Season are often recorded, broadcast live on Rai5 or Radio3 and streamed live on our website. Since 2012 the MusicEmotion project has been bringing a selection of concerts live in high definition to cinemas in Italy and abroad.

2013, discography successes
Filarmonica della Scala has produced a substantial number of recordings for Decca, Sony and Emi: on the occasion of Verdi's bicentenary he recorded with Riccardo Chailly the CD "Viva Verdi" (Decca), which was the best-selling classical music record of 2013 in Italy. With Sony he has undertaken the project "900 Italiano", articulated in 3 DVDs directed by Georges Prêtre, Fabio Luisi and Gianandrea Noseda.

2013, the Concerto per Milano
2013 saw the birth of a major new project entitled "Concerto per Milano": the open-air event that every year brings the orchestra to Piazza Duomo for a free concert dedicated to the city. With an audience of about 50,000 spectators, this special concert allows you to share an evening with the Milanese and international public thanks to live national and international TV coverage.

2015, Sarajevo and the dubutto at the Concertgebouw
In March 2015 Filarmonica della Scala makes its debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and in July returns to Sarajevo for a concert of the highest symbolic significance: an interfaith celebration for peace 20 years after the end of the conflict in Bosnia.

2015, the Discovery cycle
In 2015, in addition to the season at Teatro alla Scala, Filarmonica della Scala inaugurates a new cycle of Discovery concerts at Milan's Teatro degli Arcimboldi on the occasion of the Expo.

2015, Riccardo Chailly  
In November 2015 Riccardo Chailly became Conductor principal of Filarmonica della Scala, with which he immediately scheduled a full calendar of international tours and recordings. Decca in 2015 released an album celebrating a century of music performed for the first time at La Scala: Overtures, Preludes and Intermezzos by Verdi, Rossini, Puccini and many others.

2019, the new records
In 2019 Decca released The Fellini Album with film music by Nino Rota, and then released Cherubini Discoveries and Respighi the following year, both part of the acclaimed series celebrating the great Italian composers.
2021, Etienne Reymond
From May 2021 Etienne Reymond is the new Conductor Artistic Director of Filarmonica della Scala.

Today, Filarmonica della Scala is certainly a young ensemble compared to the great, centuries-old European orchestras, but these few decades bear witness to an extraordinary wealth, where the greatest conductors and soloists of our time, from Claudio Abbado to Carlo Maria Giulini, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim and many others, have taken turns on the podium at La Scala and abroad, creating an extraordinary succession of places and faces.

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