CSO Names New Music Director

May 6, 2008 Full story: cbs2chicago.com

“I'm ecstatic, and so are all the musicians and staff in Chicago.”

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association named maestro Riccardo Muti early Monday as the next music director of the CSO, the 10th conductor to hold the prestigious post.

Muti, 66, signed a five-year contract to serve as music director beginning in September of the 2010-2011 season, association president Deborah Card announced. The post has been vacant since Daniel Barenboim retired in 2006.

The contract calls for Muti to conduct a minimum of 10 weeks of CSO subscription concerts each season, plus lead the orchestra in domestic and international tours. Read more

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Claire Conley

Chicago, IL

#1 May 6, 2008
This is such wonderful news. I saw Riccardo Muti conduct in September and there was a magic between the orchestra and the conductor. I am a CSO subscriber who has enjoyed the variety of conductors who have come our way since Daniel Barenboim has left...but we need a dedicated leader for the future! And I am so happy for our orchestra, for our city and for the future promotion of-- and excitement generated around--classical music in the city of Chicago. Welcome, Maestro Muti! There is a love-fest brewing for you in the City!
Nancy Engelsberg

Trescore Balneario, Italy

#2 May 6, 2008
As a musician and former Chicagoan, I am highly dismayed at the appointment of Riccardo Muti, one of the most unmusical of the "major" conductors alive (or dead for that matter) as musical director of what has been considered one of top orchestras in the world, if not the top. Anyone really familiar with the Italian musical environment knows that one does not come as did Riccardo Muti straight out of a conservatory and into a major opera theatre on merit. Riccardo Muti dominated the Scala scene thanks to the support of The Party, therewith keeping some of the really good musicians away from the theatre. His downfall was thanks to musicians' objections, and apparently The Party was no longer powerful enough to overcome them. It is unfortunate that the hiring powers in Chicago no longer are able to judge conducting. Even to mention Riccardo Muti in the same sentence with Solti and Reiner is ridiculous. Mozart critics have been cited as considering him favourably. I have to wonder who and why. Riccardo Muti has a wonderful system of romanticizing Mozart and un-romanticizing the Romantics. Once I caught the last part of a broadcast of an aria from Nozze di Figaro, "Non so piu' cosa son cosa faccio," The final phrase was sung slowly and "lovingly," absolutely not what Mozart wrote and absolutely not in line with the meaning of the aria. Since I had come in on the tail end, I did not know who was singing nor who was conducting, and I awaited the announcement to see who on earth had permitted such a travesty. The answer? Riccardo Muti.
sch201

Hickory Hills, IL

#3 May 9, 2008
That you can even equate the slash-and-burn Solti with a giant like Dr. Reiner reveals the superficiality of your musical aesthetics.

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