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In La Scala tradition, Barenboim to conduct funeral march in Abbado's memory to empty house

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Claudio Abbado in Bologna, Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. Claudio Abbado, a star in the great generation of Italian conductors revered for developing a rapport with members of the world's leading orchestras while still allowing them their independence, died Monday. He was 80. Abbado died at home in Bologna after a long illness, said Raffaella Grimaudo, spokeswoman for the Bologna mayor's office. Abbado made his debut in 1960 at La Scala in his home city of Milan and went on to be its music director for nearly 20 years. Among his many other positions were as music director of the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin Philarmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra and as principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (AP Photo/Gianfilippo Oggioni, Lapresse)

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Pallbearers carry the coffin of Claudio Abbado in Bologna, Italy, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. Claudio Abbado, a star in the great generation of Italian conductors revered for developing a rapport with members of the world's leading orchestras while still allowing them their independence, died Monday. He was 80. Abbado died at home in Bologna after a long illness, said Raffaella Grimaudo, spokeswoman for the Bologna mayor's office. Abbado made his debut in 1960 at La Scala in his home city of Milan and went on to be its music director for nearly 20 years. Among his many other positions were as music director of the Vienna State Opera, the Berlin Philarmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra and as principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (AP Photo/Gianfilippo Oggioni, Lapresse)

MILAN - The La Scala Philharmonic orchestra will play the funeral march from Beethoven's No. 3 Symphony to an empty house in tribute to Claudio Abbado, the opera house's long-time musical director who died this week.

La Scala said Tuesday that Daniel Barenboim, a long-time friend who joined Abbado in his 2012 return to La Scala's stage, will conduct the opera house's traditional memorial to its most influential figures Monday evening. The music will be broadcast live outside.

The Milanese opera house's tradition of playing a tribute funeral march to an empty theatre dates from Arturo Toscanini's 1957 death.

Abbado was La Scala's musical director from 1968 to 1986, before moving to other venues in Vienna, Berlin, London and Chicago. He died Monday at age 80 after a long illness.

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