gave its first performance when Milan’s Teatro
alla Scala opened it’s doors in 1778. Within just a few decades it had
risen to become Italy’s primary opera house and by the
1830s it was the place to go for the major operas of the day and gaining a
huge international presence.
first led by the conductor Alberto Mazzuccato in
1854 and by 1872 the impact the orchestra made due to its consistent high
quality of performances led to it starting to give concerts in its own right
under the leadership of Franco Faccio. By 1878 they were in France to give a tour in Paris when they gave a performance at the
Exposition. The huge success of
this meant that the Societa Orchestrale
della Scala became a permanent
concert organisation that held two annual concert seasons with Faccio maintaining his position as their leader.
two hundred years of performances La Scala became
Ente Sutonomo del Teatro alla Scala which was a self-governing organisation formed in
1920. Before long they had
hired Arturo Toscanini to be their artistic director and during the time of
his tenure, which ended in 1929, he enlarged the orchestra members so there
were 100 musicians. During
these years the orchestra regularly toured internationally and gained even
more recognition throughout the world.
Since the Toscanini
years there have been many other acclaimed conductors who have worked with
the orchestra that include Carlo Maria Giolini
from 1954 to 1956, Claudio Abbado from 1968 to
1986 and Riccardo Muti
from 1987 to 2005 and Daniel Barenboim from 2005
to 2011, when he was named Maestro Scaligero. In 2011 he continue
with the orchestra when he was named their music director for a tenure of a
further five years.
In the Abbado
years he was involved in the reorganisation of the ensemble into a
Philharmonic and it became known as L’Orchestra
Filarmonica della Scala in 1982.
Today the orchestra comprises 135 musicians.
Since 1987 the
orchestra, under the leadership of Riccaro Muti, has played host to many of the
world’s noted guest conductors for concert performances. Just a few of these include Leonard
Bernstein, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Valery Gergiev, Herbert von Karajan, Zubin Mehta and Seiji Ozawa.
They have given many
premiere performances and their recording output, which is in excess of
1200 titles, includes releases of their own albums as well as featuring on