Italian maestro cancels comeback concerts

Italian conductor Claudio Abbado has cancelled his anticipated comeback concerts scheduled for the start of June at Milan's La Scala, the opera house announced Tuesday.

The 76-year-old maestro was due to conduct a preview concert for under-30s on June 3, followed by two concerts on June 4 and 6, for which he had requested 90,000 trees to be planted in Milan as payment.

Abbado "is under medical treatment" in Germany where he was hospitalised after a run of concerts at the Berlin Philharmonic, La Scala said, estimating the conductor would be back in three weeks.

The septuagenarian, who was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2000, had periods as musical director or head conductor in Milan, London, Vienna and Berlin.

All tickets for the June 3, 4 and 6 events are refundable until June 13.