While classical music may be struggling in some parts of the world, Chicago is riding a new wave of excitement by landing, the distinguished conductor Riccardo Muti as their tenth music director. Many including the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic were courting Muti but Chicago won the prize. The world-renowned Muti, has conducted some of the world’s most important orchestras from the Vienna Philharmonic to the Orchestre National de France. Beginning this September 2010, he takes the reins at the CSO with an incredible array of special events and concerts kicking off his five year tenure. (see highlights below).
Muti has ready opinions about a music director’s role. He says, “The music director’s work can only be good if he has the help of great artists.” In this respect, the seasoned director will continue the CSO’s important relationships with conductors Bernard Haitink and Pierre Boulez. He has also appointed two new Mead Composers-in-Residence, Anna Clyne and Mason Bates.
The appointment of Yo-yo Ma as the CSO’s new Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant is a cornerstone of Muti’s vision for the CSO. It is of upmost importance to Muti to deepen the Orchestra’s engagement with the Chicago community and especially the youth.
Hailing from a grand tradition of legendary Italian maestros, Muti is arguably the most
distinguished dramatic conductor of our age. The exciting repertoire he has selected for his inaugural season reflects his passion for music that captures the eye and heart as well as the ear and imagination. Muti’s interpretations of Verdi–particularly his operas–are well known, but he also wants to explore the musical horizons of the Orchestra and the audience. “We must be open to all the possibilities,” he says. “I will try to expand the repertoire to introduce some things that have not been explored.”
Highlights of the Season.
Maestro Muti’s 10 subscription weeks anchor a season dedicated to the exploration of drama in music. Following are some of the highlights of Muti’s first month.
Thursday, September 16–“Free Concert in Pilsen.”
“Mexico 2010” at the Benito Juarez Community Academy, tickets are not required, but seating is limited. 7p.m., 2150 S. Lafin St., 773 534 7030.
Sunday, September 19–Free “Concert for Chicago.”
“The Muti Era Begins,” will include: Verdi, Liszt and Respighi. 5p.m., Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 55 N. Michigan Ave.
Thursday September 23-28. Muti Conducts, Berlioz Spectacular.
The blockbuster theatrical season opener starts with the Symphonie fantastique and Lelio. Berlioz’ personal tale of love-turned-obsession. Symphony Center. 220 S. Michigan Ave. 312 294 3000.
Thursday September 30-October 5. Muti Conducts, Mozart & Hayden at Symphony Center. 220 S. Michigan Ave. 312 294 3000.
Saturday, October 2. Symphony Ball, Muti conducts.
Dining and dancing under a tent at Millennium Park immediately following the concert. Tickets, 312 294 3185.
Thursday, October 7-9. Muti Conducts, Beethoven 3.
This program honors “Mexico 2010” as part of the citywide celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mexican Independence. Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave. 312 294 3000.
Thursday October 14-17. Muti Conducts, Cherubini Requiem.
“Mexico 2010” at Symphony Center. 220 S. Michigan Ave. 312 294 3000.
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