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Former CSO Guest Conductor Claudio Abbado Dies

Italian conductor Claudio Abbado walks on stage before the start of a concert performed by the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic on the open-air stage of Berlin's "Waldbuehne" on May 24, 2008. (Photo credit: MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images)

Italian conductor Claudio Abbado walks on stage before the start of a concert performed by the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic on the open-air stage of Berlin’s “Waldbuehne” on May 24, 2008. (Photo credit: MICHAEL GOTTSCHALK/AFP/Getty Images)

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(CBS) – Claudio Abbado, a renowned Italian conductor with a long relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, died Monday morning at the age of 80 at his home in Italy.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports Abbado, was a frequent guest conductor at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 1970s and 1980s, and was principal guest conductor from 1982 to 1985.

He served as music director for orchestras in Berlin, London, Milan, and Vienna.

His career was interrupted in 2000, when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Even as he battled illness, he founded his own all-star orchestra in Switzerland.

In July 2011, he declared himself in good health, and last summer was honored in his native Italy, where he was appointed to the Italian Senate as senator for life.