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Roberto Gabbiani was born in Prato in 1947 and received his diploma in pianoforte and composition from the “Luigi Cherubini” Conservatory in Florence. At a very young age he began working at the Teatro Comunale di Firenze, at the time under the artistic direction of Riccardo Muti, who in 1974 nominated him as Chorus Master of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. There, he collaborated with the most important international conductors and contributed to the realisation of symphonic seasons and festivals. He conducted the Orchestra and Chorus of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and performed world premières by Aldo Clementi, Luciano Berio, Luigi Nono and Goffredo Petrassi.
From 1990 to 2002 Maestro Gabbiani was called by Riccardo Muti to direct the Chorus of the Teatro alla Scala of Milan, where he also successfully presented the annual commission of a choral composition, conducting the world premières of compositions by Azio Corghi, Fabio Vacchi and Adriano Guarnieri. At the same time, he rediscovered forgotten or “minor” works by Italian composers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Maestro Gabbiani has taken part in tours with Riccardo Muti and with La Scala all over the world. At the end of the ‘90s he collaborated with the Accademia di Santa Cecilia di Roma, conducted by Myung-Whun Chung, while, since 2000, he has collaborated with the Chorus of Radio France. In 2001 Luciano Berio nominated him as Chorus Master of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia: thus began a collaboration that lasted until 2006 with projects aimed at developing and discovering polyphonic music. Recently invited by the Nomori Festival of Tokyo for performances of masterpieces by Verdi and Rossini, he has also contributed to the formation of the Giacinto Scelsi vocal ensemble, with which he devotes himself to an intense study of contemporary music.
In July 2008 he was named Chorus Master of the Teatro Regio di Torino.
He performed at Stresa Festival in 2008.