The Berliner Philharmoniker's annual European Concerts are intended to recall the date on which the orchestra was founded, 1 May 1882, with a performance being given on this day in a different town or city of particular cultural and historical importance. In 2002 it was the turn of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, one of Europe's most important opera houses both artistically and architecturally. This was also the last time in his twelve years as the orchestra's artistic director that the revered Italian maestro Claudio Abbado conducted a European Concert. In a programme of beloved pieces from the classical repertoire, with the celebrated Gil Shaham as soloist, Abbado once again demonstrated how he upheld the unsurpassed orchestral tradition of the Berliner Philharmoniker with his profound music-making.
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