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<<  -- 4 --  Roderic Dunnett    LUCIANO CHAILLY

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The joke is partly self-mocking, for Chailly, ever eclectic, was a firm admirer of both Dallapiccola (they corresponded enthusiastically) and serialist Petrassi, and not averse to a bit of Sixties Serialism himself -- although his tenth Sonata Tritematica (Triple-theme Sonata), for string quartet, was actually his one and only exercise in total serial integration. He used Serialism selectively in other works; generally he found its demands restrictive, unacceptable and ultimately enervating.

Chailly with Goffredo Petrassi in 1986
Chailly with Goffredo Petrassi in 1986

Chailly was already one of Italy's most established opera composers when in 1968 he made the leap into opera administration (as Petrassi had before him at La Fenice in Venice during wartime), taking on the Artistic Directorship of La Scala, Milan, where he worked (from 1968-71) alongside such stars as Franco Corelli and the young Luciano Pavarotti, and the conductors Giulini, Abbado and Muti. Chailly returned to La Scala in 1977 as organizational director. His other administrative roles included overseeing a season or two at the celebrated Verona Amphitheatre, acting as adviser on the restoration of the Teatro Regio in Turin and serving as artistic director, from 1983-5, of Genoa's opera house, the Teatro Carlo Felice.

Luciano Chailly's energy seemed never sapped : in the mid 1970s he also directed Milan's Angelicum Choir and Orchestra, and later (into his seventies) served as Artistic Director of the Orchestra and Chorus of RAI in Turin. At the same time he was a respected teacher of composition in Milan, Perugia and Cremona, and a board member of the opera section of SIAE, the Italian Society of Artists and Publishers.

Riccardo Chailly
Riccardo Chailly

His most famous pupil, incidentally, is his son, Riccardo, who studied with his father prior to attending Franco Caraccioli's classes at the Milan Conservatorio (Riccardo later studied with Piero Guarino and (at Siena) Franco Ferrara. Given the family's forceful and energetic personalities, Chailly father and son periodically clashed, even for long periods; but reconciliation inevitably followed.

Luciano Chailly instructs his young son Riccardo (left) in the arts of conducting
Luciano Chailly instructs his young son Riccardo (left) in the arts of conducting

 

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Copyright © 20 April 2003 Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK

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