Roberto Abbado (born 30 December 1954, in Milan, Italy) is an Italian conductor. He is the son of musician Marcello Abbado and the nephew of conductor Claudio Abbado. He studied conducting under Franco Ferrara at La Fenice, Venice, and at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia where he became the only student of the academy ever to be asked to conduct the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He led his first opera, Simon Boccanegra, at the age of 23, and during his 20s performed at numerous opera houses in Italy and elsewhere. He has since conducted many operas and orchestras worldwide.
Abbado was Chief Conductor of the Munich Radio Orchestra from 1991 to 1998. In the U.S., Abbado was appointed an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) starting with the 2005-2006 season. In November 2006, he extended this contract with the SPCO through the 2010-2011 season.