Riccardo Chailly assumed the position of Gewandhauskapellmeister at the beginning of the 2005/06 season.
Born in Milan, Riccardo Chailly has conducted all of the world's most renowned orchestras, as well as taking the podium at its most illustrious opera houses. He has long been a regular guest at the music world's most prestigious festivals, including the Salzburger Festspiele, Lucerne Festival and the BBC Proms in London.
In 2010, Chailly conducted the Vienna Philharmonic at the Salzburger Festspiele and made guest appearances with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, he will return to Berlin for concerts with the Philharmonic.
From 1983 until 1986, Riccardo Chailly was Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and from 1982 until 1989, Chief Conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra. Chailly was Music Director of the Teatro Comunale Bologna from 1986 until 1993 and enjoyed a highly celebrated sixteen year tenure as Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam (1988-2004). Chailly concurrently led the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi in Milan from 1999 until 2005.
Riccardo Chailly was awarded the title of Grande Ufficiale della Repubblica Italia in 1994 and was appointed Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy in 1998. In 1996 he was awarded honorary membership of the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Riccardo Chailly has been under exclusive contract to the record label DECCA for over thirty years. His discography comprises in excess of 150 CDs, including ten operas, many of which have received the industry's most prestigious awards, including numerous editions of the Edison Prize and the Gramophone Award, the Diapason d’Or, Academy Charles Cross Award, Unga Konotomo Award Japan, Toblacher Komponierhäuschen-Preis, as well as many Grammy nominations. Chailly was awarded the coveted Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2005. The journals "Diapason" and "Gramophone" both elected Chailly "Artist of the Year" in 1998. In 2010, Riccardo Chailly was awarded the Alexander von Zemlinsky Prize and received the Orphée d´Or "Prix H. von Karajan" for his extraordinary discography.
Riccardo Chailly's latest recordings with the Gewandhausorchester have been decorated with ECHO-Klassik Awards 2006, 2007 and 2012 in the category "Conductor of the Year", as well as Classic FM Gramophone Awards in the categories "Concert" and "Record of the Year".
Riccardo Chailly’s first artistic encounter with the Gewandhausorchester was an appearance at the Salzburger Festpiele in 1986.
Accolades during Riccardo Chailly's Leipzig tenure
The New Year's Day concert given by the Gewandhaus Orchestra and Riccardo Chailly in London in 2009 was awarded a place in the Sunday Times' "Best Classic of the Decade" list, which comprised fifteen worldwide classical music events of the first decade of the millennium.
The Gewandhaus Orchestra CD "Mendelssohn Discoveries" was awarded prizes by two highly respected French journals, the coveted "Diapason d´Or du mois" from "Diapason" and the "CHOC du mois" from "Classica".
The first CD and DVD of Chailly's tenure as Kapellmeister of the Gewandhaus Orchestra was released in September 2005 by DECCA, documenting the inaugural concert on the 2nd of that month in Leipzig. The CD received the ECHO Klassik 2006 award.
The Gewandhaus Orchestra received two ECHO Klassik 2007 awards, for the recording of the Schumann symphonies 2 and 4 (arr. by Gustav Mahler) and for the CD of the violin concertos by Mendelssohn and Bruch with Janine Jansen.
The double CD of the two piano concertos of Johannes Brahms with the soloist Nelson Freire was released in March 2006. The CD received the Diapason d’Or de L’année and was named "Recording of the Year" in the Gramophone Awards 2007, as well as winning the category "Concert Recording". The recording was nominated for the 49th Grammy Awards.
The DVD of the Große Concerte with Martha Argerich on 1st and 2nd June 2006 were released in October 2006.
The complete recording of Schumann's four symphonies in the orchestration by Gustav Mahler for the innovative "Decca concerts" was named Editor's Choice by the journal Gramophone. "Decca Concerts" provides live concert performances for download on iTunes.
The recording of J.S. Bach's "St. Matthew Passion", released in March 2010, was awarded the "Prix Herbert Karajan" of the "Academie National du Disque Lyrique" in May of that year.
The CD box of the symphonies and overtures of Beethoven, released in October 2011, received the accolade of "Editor´s Choice" from the British music journal Gramophone in November 2011.
Both the opening and the concluding concerts of the International Mahler Festival Leipzig 2011 (2nd and 8th symphonies of Gustav Mahler) with the Gewandhausorchester and Riccardo Chailly have been released on DVD by Accentus Music, in cooperation with the MDR and ARTE. Paintings by the Leipzig artist Neo Rauch adorn the covers.
The cycle of DVDs of live concerts of the symphonies of Mahler, begun in 2011, will be pursued in the coming seasons. The DVDs are produced by Accentus Music, with cover artwork for the complete cycle by the Leipzig artist, Neo Rauch.
The release of the complete symphonies and instrumental concertos of Johannes Brahms on DECCA is planned for 2013.