Barenboim conducts Abbado tribute at La Scala

22 January 2014, 10:56 | Updated: 28 January 2014, 09:57

Daniel Barenboim, the current music director of La Scala, has lead the Milan opera house's orchestra in a tribute to former La Scala director Claudio Abbado, who died on 20 January.

The tribute has seen the orchestra perform Beethoven's funeral march from his Symphony No. 3 to an empty house, a tradition dating back to the death of Arturo Toscanini in 1957.

The performance was relayed live outside the opera house here it was watched by thousands of people, gathered in the piazza della Scala.

Barenboim was a close friend of Claudio Abbado and joined him on stage at La Scala when Abbado made his comeback in 2012 after a bout of ill health.

In a heartfelt tribute to Abbado written earlier this week, Barenboim said: "We have lost one of the great musicians of the last half-century and one of the few musicians who had a particularly close relation with the spirit of the music, and one that went beyond the boundaries of musical genres."

"He sent signal to the world that young and inexperienced musicians can, with the right mindset and commitment play music at the very highest level. For this we must thank him."

Watch the tribute here: