The Info List - Riccardo Muti

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Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
(Italian: [rikˈkardo ˈmuːti]; born in Naples
28 July 1941) is an Italian conductor. He holds two music directorships: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
and the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini. Previously he held posts at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, the Philharmonia Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra
in London, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Teatro alla Scala
Teatro alla Scala
in Milan
and the Salzburg Whitsun Festival. Muti has been a prolific recording artist and has received dozens of honours, titles, awards and prizes. He is particularly associated with the music of Giuseppe Verdi.


1 Childhood and education 2 Early career 3 Berlin and Vienna 4 Work in opera 5 At the Salzburg Festival 6 Salzburg Whitsun Festival 7 Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
Italian Opera Academy 8 In the United States 9 End of tenure in Milan 10 Political intervention 11 Tenure in Chicago 12 Personal life 13 Repertoire and recordings 14 Honours 15 Awards 16 References 17 External links

Childhood and education[edit]

Riccardo Muti, Premio Cantelli Teatro Coccia di Novara, 1967

Muti was born in Naples
but he spent his early childhood in Molfetta, near Bari, in the long region of Apulia
on Italy's southern Adriatic coast. His father was a doctor in Molfetta
and an amateur singer; his mother, a Neapolitan woman with five children.[1] Muti graduated from Liceo classico
Liceo classico
(Classical Lyceum) Vittorio Emanuele II in Naples, then studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella under Vincenzo Vitale; here Muti was awarded a diploma cum laude. He was subsequently awarded a diploma in Composition and Conducting
by the Giuseppe Verdi
Giuseppe Verdi
Conservatory, Milan, where he studied with the composer Bruno Bettinelli
Bruno Bettinelli
and the conductor Antonino Votto. He has also studied composition with Nino Rota, whom he considers a mentor. He was unanimously awarded first place by the jury of the " Guido Cantelli
Guido Cantelli
Competition for Conductors" in Milan
in 1967 and became, the next year, principal conductor and music director of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, a post he held for eleven years. Early career[edit] Since 1971 he has been a frequent conductor of operas and concerts at the Salzburg Festival, where he is particularly known for his Mozart opera performances. From 1972 Muti regularly conducted the Philharmonia Orchestra
Philharmonia Orchestra
in London
and in 1973 he was appointed its principal conductor, succeeding Otto Klemperer.[2] In 1986 Muti became principal conductor of the Filarmonica della Scala, Milan, with which in 1988 he received the Viotti d'Oro and toured Europe. In 1991, after twelve years as music director, he announced his resignation from the Philadelphia Orchestra, effective at the end of the 1991–1992 season. In 1995 he was the president of the jury of the International Composing Competition "2 Agosto".[3] Berlin and Vienna[edit] Muti has been a regular guest of the Berlin Philharmonic
Berlin Philharmonic
and the Vienna Philharmonic. In 1996 he conducted the latter during Vienna Festival Week and on tour to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Germany; he most recently toured with the Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna Philharmonic
to Japan in 2008. Muti has also led the orchestra's globally televised Vienna New Year's Concert on several occasions: in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, [4] and 2018. Work in opera[edit] Apart from his work at Milan's Teatro alla Scala, where he was music director for 19 years, Muti has led operatic performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia Orchestra
and productions in the principal opera houses of Rome
(from 1969), Ravenna, Vienna, London
(from 1977), Munich (from 1979), and, finally, in 2010, New York. His work with the Vienna State Opera has included Aida
in 1973, La forza del destino
La forza del destino
in 1974, Norma in 1977, Rigoletto
in 1983, Così fan tutte
Così fan tutte
in 1996 and 2008, Don Giovanni in 1999, and The Marriage of Figaro
The Marriage of Figaro
in 2001. At the Salzburg Festival[edit]

Salzburg Festival
Salzburg Festival
President Helga Rabl-Stadler with Riccardo Muti, 14 August 2016

A special relationship connects Muti with the Salzburg Festival, where the conductor debuted in 1971 with Donizetti's Don Pasquale
Don Pasquale
(staged by Ladislav Stros). In the following years Muti has been constantly present at the festival, conducting both numerous concerts with the Vienna Philharmonic
Vienna Philharmonic
Orchestra and opera productions, such as Così fan tutte (staged by Michael Hampe) from 1982 to 1985 and from 1990 to 1991, La clemenza di Tito
La clemenza di Tito
(staged by Peter Brenner) in 1988 and 1989, Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni
(staged by Michael Hampe) in 1990 and 1991, La traviata (staged by Lluis Pasqual, and designed by Luciano Damiani) in 1995, The Magic Flute
The Magic Flute
in 2005 (staged by Graham Vick) and 2006 (staged by Pierre Audi, stage designed by Karel Appel), Otello
(staged by Stephen Langridge) in 2008, Moise et Pharaon
Moise et Pharaon
(staged by Jürgen Flimm) in 2009, and Orfeo ed Euridice
Orfeo ed Euridice
(staged by Dieter Dorn) in 2010. In 2011, Muti will[citation needed] conduct a new production of Verdi's Macbeth, which will be directed by Peter Stein.[5] For the 2017 Salzburg Festival
Salzburg Festival
he conducted Aida, with Shirin Neshat
Shirin Neshat
seating on the director's chair. Muti also owns a residence close to Salzburg.

Salzburg Whitsun Festival[edit] From 2007 to 2011, Muti was the principal conductor at Salzburg's Whitsun Festival. He conducted productions of rare Italian operas from the 18th century, and concerts with his Luigi Cherubini
Luigi Cherubini
Youth Orchestra.

Muti with Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
after a performance in Moscow, 1 June 2000

Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
Italian Opera Academy[edit] In July 2015, Riccardo Muti's desire to devote even more to the training of young musicians was realised: the first edition of the Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
Italian Opera Academy for young conductors, répétiteurs and singers took place with great acclaim at Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna and talented young musicians, as well as an audience of music-lovers from around the world participated. The Academy has as purpose to pass on to young musicians Riccardo Muti's experience and lessons and to make the audience understand in its full complexity the path to accomplish an opera production. [6] In the United States[edit] In the United States, from 1980 to 1992 Muti was music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, which he led on numerous international tours. In 1979, he was appointed its music director and, in 1992, conductor laureate. Muti stated that his approach was to remain faithful to the intent of the composer. This meant a change from applying the lush "Philadelphia Sound," created by his predecessors Eugene Ormandy
Eugene Ormandy
and Leopold Stokowski, to all repertoire; however, many of his recordings with that orchestra largely seem to do away with its hallmark sound, even in the works of such composers as Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and other high romantics. His sonic changes to the orchestra remain controversial. Some felt he turned it into a generic-sounding institution with a lean sound much favored by modern recording engineers. Others believe Muti uncovered the true intention of the works, which had been covered in a silky sheen by Muti's predecessor. Since his departure from Philadelphia, he has made very few guest conducting appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, most recently in 2005.[7] Muti has been a regular and popular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic. The orchestra's musicians had reportedly been interested – towards the end of the tenures of Kurt Masur
Kurt Masur
and Lorin Maazel, and before Muti took the Chicago post – in having the conductor as their music director, but Muti stated that he had no wish to take on the position.[8][9] On 5 May 2008, Muti was named the next music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), effective with the 2010–2011 season, with an initial contract of 5 years. Muti is to conduct a minimum of 10 weeks of CSO subscription concerts each season, in addition to domestic and international tours. He made his CSO debut at the Ravinia Festival in 1973.[10] In August 2009, Muti was said to be named the next music director of the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, effective December 2010,[11] but the news given by the mayor (and therefore president of Opera di Roma) Gianni Alemanno
Gianni Alemanno
was not true. Alemanno, instead, announced in October 2011 that Muti accepted an invitation by the Orchestra of Opera di Roma to become a "lifetime conductor" of Opera di Roma.[12] End of tenure in Milan[edit] In 2003, there were reports of artistic and programming conflicts at La Scala
La Scala
between musical director and principal conductor Muti and general manager Carlo Fontana.[13] Muti did not attend the press conference that announced the 2003–04 season. The appointment in 2003 of Mauro Meli as La Scala's artistic director was intended to calm the conflict between Fontana and Muti.[14] On 24 February 2005, La Scala
La Scala
governors dismissed Fontana as general manager and named Meli as his successor.[15] The musicians sided with Fontana against Muti at this point in the dispute, and on 13 March, Muti stated that he would refuse to conduct the La Scala
La Scala
orchestra from that point on.[16] On 16 March 2005, the orchestra and staff of La Scala
La Scala
voted overwhelmingly against Muti in a motion of no-confidence.[17] Muti was forced to cancel a concert prior to the vote, and some other productions were disrupted at the theater because of continuing rifts with Fontana's supporters. On 2 April, he resigned from La Scala, citing "hostility" from staff members.[18][19] Political intervention[edit] On the night of 12 March 2011, Rome's Teatro dell'Opera staged the first in a series of scheduled performances of Verdi's opera Nabucco, conducted by Muti. After the end of the chorus "Va, pensiero", which contains the lyrics "Oh mia patria, sì bella e perduta" ("Oh my country, so beautiful and so lost"), the audience applauded "heartily." Muti, breaking with opera protocol and the strict conventions of composer Verdi himself,[20] turned to the audience and delivered a small speech, referring to the severe budget cuts announced by the Berlusconi government[21] which would particularly affect the funding of the arts. He spoke of the need to keep culture alive in Italy, prompted, as he later stated, by the belief that "killing culture in a country like Italy
is a crime against society. Culture is the spiritual glue that holds a people together."[20] He then invited the audience to participate in an encore of the "Va, pensiero" chorus – the invitation and the encore also a break from tradition for an opera performance.[22] The opera audience stood up and sang along with the on-stage chorus.[23] Muti recalls that "80 percent of the audience knew the lyrics" and sang along, while "some members of the chorus were in tears."[20] On 18 March, the performance of Nabucco
was repeated in front of Italian president Giorgio Napolitano
Giorgio Napolitano
and prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. Muti, who had stated that it had been the first time in his life that he conducted chorus and audience together and also the last,[20] on that occasion conducted the Verdi opera in the "orthodox" manner.[23] Tenure in Chicago[edit] Muti was named conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
in 2010. According to the orchestra's 2014 Form 990, he is paid a salary of $1,095,000.[24] During the Chicago Blackhawks' run to the 2013 Stanley Cup, Muti created an orchestral version of the Blackhawks' goal song, Chelsea Dagger. In a YouTube
video posted on the CSO's official channel, Muti led the CSO while wearing a customized #19 Blackhawks sweater—a tribute to Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, who wears #19.[25] Following the Blackhawks winning the 2015 Stanley Cup, he led the CSO in a live performance of Chelsea Dagger.[26] Personal life[edit] Muti is married to Maria Cristina Mazzavillani, the founder and director of the Ravenna Festival.[27] They have two sons and a daughter. In 2010, Muti wrote an autobiography. The following year, it was translated and published in English as Riccardo Muti: An Autobiography: First the Music, Then the Words. Music critic John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune described Muti's memoir as "fascinating."[28] Repertoire and recordings[edit] With the Philadelphia, his recordings include the first Beethoven symphony cycle made for compact disc, the symphonies of Brahms and Scriabin, selected works of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev, as well as less-known works of composers such as Puccini and Busoni. Muti is considered one of the world's greatest conductors of the operas of Verdi. He also led a series of annual performances of opera in concerts including the works of Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and Wagner. In 1992, Muti conducted performances of Leoncavallo's Pagliacci
with Luciano Pavarotti. A recording was also made of these performances. At La Scala, Muti was noted for exploring lesser-known works of the Classical- and early Romantic-era repertory such as Lodoiska by Cherubini and La vestale
La vestale
by Spontini. Honours[edit]

Muti received several honours from the Italian government: in 1980, he was appointed a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and was promoted to a Knight Grand Cross of the same Order in 1990. He was awarded a Golden Medal of the Italian Order of Merit for Culture and Art in 1997.[29] Muti is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music
Royal Academy of Music
(Hon RAM) since 1981.[30] Honorary degree, University of Pavia, 1996. Muti was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in 2000.[31] Muti was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the Universitat de Barcelona on 13 October 2003. On 4 June 2010, Muti was appointed a Commander of the Legion of Honour by then French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy.[32] In 2011, Muti was made a Member of Russia's Order of Friendship.[33] On 20 June 2014, Muti received an honorary degree from Northwestern University in Chicago.[34] On 3 July 2016, Muti was awarded the 2nd Class, Gold and Silver Star of Japan's Order of the Rising Sun.[35]


2011 Birgit Nilsson Prize[36] 2011 Prince of Asturias Award
Prince of Asturias Award
for the Arts.


^ (in Italian) From his autobiography ^ Stephen Moss (31 January 2005). "Enough!". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-06-03.  ^ http://www.concorso2agosto.it/about-us ^ Edward Greenfield (13 February 2004). "New Year's Concert 2004, Vienna PO/ Muti". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-06-03.  ^ "Muti : Bring music to prisons" La Stampa, 5 August 2010 (in Italian). ^ http://riccardomutimusic.com/eng/biografia.asp ^ Bernard Holland (15 February 2005). "Muti Returns to Philadelphia for a Reunion". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-06-03.  ^ Ed Vulliamy (24 December 2000). "How America dropped the baton". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ Daniel J. Wakin (25 April 2007). "Philharmonic to Add a Position at the Top". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ " Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
to be CSO music director". The Associated Press. 5 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-05. [dead link] ^ Leandro Palestini (2009-08-20). " Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
andrà all' Opera di Roma". La Repubblica. Retrieved 2009-08-22.  ^ "Muti all'Opera di Roma 'a vita'" (in Italian). Il giornale della musica. Retrieved 2011-10-12.  ^ John Hooper (16 September 2003). "Dumbing down row at La Scala". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ Philip Willan (13 October 2003). "New aria of peace at La Scala". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ John Hooper (3 March 2005). "Recriminations fly as crisis engulfs La Scala". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ John Hooper (14 March 2005). "Conductor downs baton at La Scala". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ John Hooper (17 March 2005). "Staff demand Muti exit in latest La Scala drama". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ Vanessa Thorpe (3 April 2005). "Muti exits after a musical mutiny". The Observer. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ Laura Smith (4 April 2005). "Curtain falls on unhappy Muti at La Scala". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-07-15.  ^ a b c d 'Muti : Killing Culture is a Crime" Corriere della Sera, 15. ^ " Italy
Passes $68 Billion in Budget Cuts" Bloomberg, 1 July 2011. ^ "Va, pensiero" on YouTube
Theatro dell'Opera, Rome, Saturday 12 March 2011. ^ a b "Muti conducts 'Nabucco' with Napolitano and Berlusconi present" Quotidiano, 18 March 2011. ^ http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2014/362/167/2014-362167823-0b7da1c8-9.pdf ^ CSO Salutes the Blackhawks in 2013 with Chelsea Dagger
Chelsea Dagger
Goal Song on YouTube ^ Live performance of Chelsea Dagger
Chelsea Dagger
by CSO on YouTube ^ "Muti Mazzavillani, lady of the Ravenna Festival: "That's how I made the city grow", FQ Emilia Romana website, 9 June 2011 (in Italian). ^ von Rhein, John (July 27, 2011). "Muti book a compelling saga of a rich life lived in music". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 9, 2016.  ^ Riccardo Muti's List of Honors from Italy's Presidential website. ^ "Honorary Members (Hon RAM)" (PDF). Royal Academy of Music. Retrieved 17 October 2015.  ^ List of Knighthoods awarded 1997-2006 Archived October 1, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., UK Parliament website. ^ Cérémonie de décoration de Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
Archived March 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., 2010. ^ Sweeting, Adam (16 March 2011). "Riccardo Muti: a profile". The Telegraph. Retrieved 23 April 2011.  ^ "World-Renowned Conductor to Address Class of 2014: Northwestern University News". www.northwestern.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-23.  ^ "Concert The Roads of Frienship Ravenna-Tokyo". Archived from the original on 2016-08-20.  ^ "The Birgit Nilsson Prize 2011 recipient". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Riccardo Muti.

Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
Official website Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
at Encyclopædia Britannica Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
at AllMusic Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
on IMDb Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
biography at Sony BMG Masterworks

Cultural offices

Preceded by Claudio Abbado Music Director of La Scala 1986–2005 Succeeded by Daniel Barenboim

Preceded by Daniel Barenboim Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 2010-present Succeeded by incumbent

v t e

Laureates of the Wolf Prize in Arts


Ralph Erskine (1983/4) Fumihiko Maki
Fumihiko Maki
/ Giancarlo De Carlo
Giancarlo De Carlo
(1988) Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
/ Jørn Utzon
Jørn Utzon
/ Denys Lasdun
Denys Lasdun
(1992) Frei Otto
Frei Otto
/ Aldo van Eyck
Aldo van Eyck
(1996/7) Álvaro Siza Vieira
Álvaro Siza Vieira
(2001) Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel
(2005) David Chipperfield
David Chipperfield
/ Peter Eisenman
Peter Eisenman
(2010) Eduardo Souto de Moura
Eduardo Souto de Moura
(2013) Phyllis Lambert (2016)


Vladimir Horowitz
Vladimir Horowitz
/ Olivier Messiaen
Olivier Messiaen
/ Josef Tal
Josef Tal
(1982) Isaac Stern
Isaac Stern
/ Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki
(1987) Yehudi Menuhin
Yehudi Menuhin
/ Luciano Berio
Luciano Berio
(1991) Zubin Mehta
Zubin Mehta
/ György Ligeti
György Ligeti
(1995/6) Pierre Boulez
Pierre Boulez
/ Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
(2000) Mstislav Rostropovich
Mstislav Rostropovich
/ Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim
(2004) Giya Kancheli
Giya Kancheli
/ Claudio Abbado
Claudio Abbado
(2008) Plácido Domingo
Plácido Domingo
/ Simon Rattle
Simon Rattle
(2012) Jessye Norman
Jessye Norman
/ Murray Perahia
Murray Perahia


Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
/ Antoni Tàpies
Antoni Tàpies
(1981) Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns
(1986) Anselm Kiefer
Anselm Kiefer
(1990) Gerhard Richter
Gerhard Richter
(1994/5) Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois
(2002/3) Michelangelo Pistoletto
Michelangelo Pistoletto
(2006/7) Rosemarie Trockel
Rosemarie Trockel


Eduardo Chillida
Eduardo Chillida
(1984/5) Claes Oldenburg
Claes Oldenburg
(1989) Bruce Nauman
Bruce Nauman
(1993) James Turrell
James Turrell
(1998) Louise Bourgeois
Louise Bourgeois
(2002/3) Michelangelo Pistoletto
Michelangelo Pistoletto
(2006/7) Olafur Eliasson
Olafur Eliasson
(2014) Laurie Anderson
Laurie Anderson
/ Lawrence Weiner
Lawrence Weiner
(2017) Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
/ Ádám Fischer
Ádám Fischer

Agriculture Arts Chemistry Mathematics Medicine Physics

v t e

Philharmonia Principal Conductors

Otto Klemperer
Otto Klemperer
(1959) Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
(1973) Giuseppe Sinopoli
Giuseppe Sinopoli
(1984) Christoph von Dohnányi (1997) Esa-Pekka Salonen
Esa-Pekka Salonen

v t e

Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia Orchestra
Music Directors

Fritz Scheel
Fritz Scheel
(1900–1907) Karl Pohlig (1908–1912) Leopold Stokowski
Leopold Stokowski
(1912–1938) Eugene Ormandy
Eugene Ormandy
(1936–1980) Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti
(1980–1992) Wolfgang Sawallisch
Wolfgang Sawallisch
(1993–2003) Christoph Eschenbach
Christoph Eschenbach
(2003–2008) Charles Dutoit
Charles Dutoit
(Chief Conductor, 2008–2012) Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Yannick Nézet-Séguin

v t e

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Music Directors

Theodore Thomas (1891) Frederick Stock
Frederick Stock
(1905) Désiré Defauw
Désiré Defauw
(1943) Artur Rodziński (1947) Rafael Kubelík
Rafael Kubelík
(1950) Fritz Reiner
Fritz Reiner
(1953) Jean Martinon (1963) Irwin Hoffman (1968) Georg Solti
Georg Solti
(1969) Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim
(1991) Riccardo Muti
Riccardo Muti

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 110839517 LCCN: n81023012 ISNI: 0000 0001 1082 9961 GND: 119165465 SELIBR: 302274 SUDOC: 066989906 BNF: cb13897829f (data) MusicBrainz: eb458ad6-7070-47af-ad92-968ea0b9dce2 NLA: 36123822 NDL: 00713680 NKC: mzk2004242226 ICCU: ITICCURAVV89943 BNE: XX862705 CiNii: DA04098