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David Robertson to conduct at Carnegie Hall opening

David Robertson will replace ailing conductor Claudio Abbado at the season-opening concerts at Carnegie Hall with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

The 74-year-old Abbado, who had stomach cancer surgery seven years ago, was to have led the orchestra in its North American debut at Carnegie on Oct. 3 but canceled recently, citing health.

In addition to opening night, Robertson will lead the Oct. 4 concert, both featuring Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Fourth Piano Concerto, Carnegie Hall announced Tuesday. Pierre Boulez was previously selected to fill in for the Oct. 6 concert, featuring Mahler's Third Symphony.

Abbado, who founded of the Lucerne orchestra in 2003, previously was artistic director of the Berlin Philharmonic and music director at La Scala in his native Milan, Italy, and at the Vienna State Opera.

Robertson is music director of the St. Louis Symphony.