Italian Conductor Claudio Abbado Dies

His death follows months of failing health

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Claudio Abbado, the renowned Italian conductor, died Monday. He was 80 years old, and the Bologna mayor’s office confirmed he passed away in the Italian city after months of failing health, BBC reports.

The famous conductor had a long record of poor health, as he resigned from the Vienna Opera over health reasons as far back as 1991. In 2000, Abbado underwent an operation for stomach cancer. More recently, Abbado had cancelled performances and appearances on account of his poor health.

Throughout his illustrious career, Abbado was the music director of Milan’s La Scala opera house, the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, the lead conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic and a guest conductor at the Chicago Philharmonic. Last year, Abbado was appointed to the Italian Senate as a senator for life. He also had many fans in the classical music world. “This is such a painful moment,”¬†Attilia Giuliani, the head of Abbado’s fan club in Milan, told BBC. “I can’t speak.”