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

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.