When Maestro Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, heard students from the Chicago West Community Music Center perform at a benefit event in June, he said he was “impressed with their dignity and ethical approach to their music style.” And after hearing the voice of 20-year-old soprano Jessalle Jakes, Muti said he’d be ba...

Verdi’s monumental and altogether ravishing “Requiem” is a signature work of Maestro Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. Their recording of the great operatic mass was the winner of two Grammy Awards (Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance) in 2010. But in light of the recent horrific plague of senseless shootings...

IN THE MOOD IN OUR OWN WAY: a documentary written, produced, directed and narrated by LUCA MARTERA, edited by CARLA BRANDOLINI, linguistic consultant and additional voice narration FRANK PISATURO. A Sexual Radar Production, 2018 https://vimeo.com/296585302 From the ancient Italian tradition of the Great Opera Houses to the Neapolitan melodies of 20...

Those who experienced Riccardo Muti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on the Harriman-Jewell Series in 2015 or 2017 know that when Muti is on the podium, it’s more than a concert. It’s a spiritual experience. This month, Muti will celebrate his 50th anniversary as a conductor. He has had a remarkable career, including serving as principal c...

Chicago Symphony Orchestra audiences are accustomed to Riccardo Muti’s signing off for the season on a grandly upbeat note, such as he did last year when he closed the subscription series with a festive potpourri of Italian operatic favorites. For this year’s season finale, however, the music director is doing things differently. The scale remains...

Riccardo Muti thinks about how an afterlife meeting with Giuseppe Verdi would go after spending decades fighting to perform the works of Italy’s greatest composer exactly as written. “My questions to Verdi would be if I did right,” the 76-year-old conductor said. “And if he says that I was wrong, then I will die for a second time.” During a career...

Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra marked their 350th concert together, with a performance in Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center Wednesday night at the onset of their East Coast winter tour. With dignitaries in the audience including the Italian ambassador to the U.S. Armando Varricchio, it was a celebratory affair capped by the single...

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has extended its contract with renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti as its music director through the 2022 season. The orchestra made the announcement Tuesday. It says Muti's current contract goes through 2020 and the new contract will extend through August 2022. Muti said in a statement that he has "deep respect...

Riccardo Muti has been a shining if somewhat elusive presence locally since his most recent appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in late September. But the maestro has certainly been on the move closer to home. Last month he and the CSO whooshed through Kansas City, Mo., and six California cities, on the first of two domestic tours they...

“Describe the Chicago Symphony’s sound.” It was an innocent enough request, but it carried a hidden inference, and Riccardo Muti pounced on it like a cat bagging an unsuspecting sparrow. “Of course, at one time it was renowned for its famous brass, but that comment seems to neglect the rest of the orchestra,” said the symphony’s 76-year-old music d...