Claudio Abbado was an Italian conductor who rose to international prominence as the music director of Milan's world-renowned La Scala opera house from 1968 to 1986. Remembered for his soft-spoken, friendly and non-confrontational manner as a leader and music director, hundreds of musicians who had the opportunity to work with him came to appreciate the conductor's ability to bring out musical talent they never knew they had. Having made a name for himself as the music director for La Scala, Abbado was chosen to succeed the famed Herbert von Karajan's post as the chief conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1989. Such was his prestige, that Filarmonica della Scala performed Beethoven's Symphony No. 3 to an empty theater, as a tribute, a week after he passed away in 2014.