Did You Know?
A conductor must consider himself first and foremost a musician. The whole idea of the conductor as some sort of god or dictator is absurd - especially as the age of the autocrat is now finished. [in an interview with The Scotsman newspaper]
As a child during WWII, he scrawled "Viva Bartok" on a public wall; the contemporary Hungarian composer was one of his musical idols. During the war, graffiti was often used in Italy for political expression. The authorities saw the foreign name and assumed Bartók was an anti-Fascist activist. They came to Abbado's house, wanting to know who this fellow Bartok was. Abbado showed them a musical ...