La Scala says illness has forced the cancellation of two highly anticipated concerts that were to mark Claudio Abbado's return to the Milan opera house after 25 years.

La Scala announced that concerts on June 4 and June 6 will not take place due to Abbado's health. The opera house says La Scala's former musical director intends to launch a new project with La Scala in the near future.

The 76-year-old conductor is under a doctor's care in Berlin. His doctor said in a separate statement that Abbado will require several weeks of care and diagnosis, without elaborating. Abbado underwent stomach cancer surgery about 10 years ago.