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Articles tagged with: Riccardo Muti

In a journey across Brahms’ symphonies, Muti found both lyric dramatist, master classicist

May 16, 2017 – 7:46 am
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Review: Riccardo Muti still has one program to go in this, his seventh season as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. We might think of the impending finale – a mixed bag of orchestral music, choruses and arias from Italian opera in concerts June 22-25 – as a grand encore to the conductor’s roundly rewarding season of appearances with the CSO. Or perhaps as a festive postlude to his splendid traversal of Brahms’ symphonies over the last two weeks.

Baton (and lantern) in hand, Muti commences rediscovery survey of the Brahms symphonies

May 9, 2017 – 1:52 pm
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Review: Ordinarily, the idea of hearing Brahms’ four ultra-familiar symphonies performed consecutively over two weekends might seem, well, unimaginative. Brahms in the care of CSO music director Riccardo Muti suddenly transforms the routine into a journey of discovery greatly to be anticipated. And illuminating it was when Muti led Brahms’ First and Second Symphonies on May 4 at Orchestra Hall to commence a cycle that winds up May 11-13 when the CSO turns to Symphonies 3 and 4.

In a many-splendored program, Muti and CSO match world premiere, Uchida’s Beethoven

Mar 20, 2017 – 5:48 am
3/16/17 8:35:06 PM -- Chicago, IL, USA

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Riccardo Muti Conductor
Mitsuko Uchida piano

Rossini Overture to La scala di seta
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3
S. Adams many words of love

[World Premiere, CSO Commission]
 © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2017

Review: With music director Riccardo Muti back on the podium, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra delivered a bravura world premiere with Samuel Adams’ “many words of love,” framed by an elegant and emotionally charged performance of Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with soloist Mitsuko Uchida and a vivacious account of Schumann’s Fourth Symphony, which remarkably enough the CSO had not played since 2003.

CSO in Europe: Epic escalator, untested hall greet orchestra at Hamburg Elbphilharmonie

Jan 17, 2017 – 4:01 pm
1/15/17 8:39:07 PM -- The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Riccardo Muti Music Director

2017 European Tour 

Bows after Don Juan, Op. 20

© Todd Rosenberg Photography 2017

Review: Some 600,000 of the curious, and proud, already have taken the long, long escalator ride from street level to the eighth-floor lobby of Hamburg’s brand-new Elbphilharmonie concert hall, where the Chicago Symphony in concerts Jan. 14-15 became the first foreign orchestra to perform on its stage. Both the curiosity and the pride were understandable.

CSO and Muti turn spotlight on principal cello, and flash a thrilla on docket for European tour

Oct 17, 2016 – 5:05 pm
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Review: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s current series of concerts with music director Riccardo Muti spotlights one of its own — principal cellist John Sharp in an elegant and lyrical turn through the Schumann concerto. But the program also previews the CSO’s January tour of Europe, and the performance Oct. 14 no doubt anticipated the coming response abroad: The crowd went wild.

DiDonato, Muti conjure Martucci song cycle, then the CSO delivers a Beethoven thriller

Sep 30, 2016 – 8:16 pm
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Review: Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti has long and eagerly shared his love for some 19th-century Italian composers who are otherwise slipping into history. For Giuseppe Martucci’s formidable song cycle “La canzone dei ricordi” (Song of Remembrance), Muti brought in another persuasive advocate, the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. An electrifying Beethoven Seventh Symphony lit up the concert’s second half.

To young lives at risk, Muti and 2 opera stars bring close encounter with voice in full glory

Sep 28, 2016 – 4:10 pm
muti-didonato-owens-iyc-feature-image

Report: Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato was about to make her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut with music director Riccardo Muti in a rare Italian work, and bass-baritone Eric Owens, over at the Lyric Opera, was readying the role of Wotan, king of the gods in Wagner’s “Ring” cycle, for the first time in his career. Yet these three internationally celebrated artists made time to perform for youths within the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, where boys in conflict with the law, most in their mid to late teens, are held for an intensive period of education and intervention designed to set them on a safer course.

Riccardo Muti, CSO and Bruckner: The sequel delivers a radiant view of Seventh Symphony

Sep 25, 2016 – 1:49 pm
9/22/16 10:18:32 PM -- The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Riccardo Muti Conductor
Bruckner Symphony No. 7
© Todd Rosenberg Photography 2016

Review: Picking up right where they left off at the end of last season, with glorious Bruckner, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and music director Riccardo Muti opened their 2016-17 series Sept. 22 by illuminating the sonorous towers and spiritual depths of the Seventh Symphony. And after a drawn-out period in flux, the CSO finally has a settled on its quartet of solo winds.

Bruckner 9 was prelude of promise: Muti, CSO to open next season with Seventh Symphony

Jun 27, 2016 – 6:22 pm
6/23/16 9:02:36 PM --   The Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Maestro Riccardo Muti, Conductor

Bruckner Symphony No. 9
Bruckner Te Deum

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Riccardo Muti conductor
Erin Wall soprano
Okka von der Damerau mezzo-soprano
Steve Davislim tenor
Eric Owens bass

Chicago Symphony Chorus
Duain Wolfe chorus director

   © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2016

Review: When Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra open their 2016-17 season at Orchestra Hall in September, it’s going to feel very much like picking up where the current season ended, with one of the splendorous symphonies by the 19th-century Austrian composer Anton Bruckner. To have just heard the Ninth is to look forward to next season’s opener, Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, with electric anticipation.

Julia Fischer takes Beethoven Violin Concerto to rare heights with Chicago Symphony, Muti

Jun 20, 2016 – 2:36 pm
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Review: Julia Fischer’s exquisite performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Riccardo Muti is one of the CSO’s don’t-miss concerts of this season. And happily, you have one more chance to hear it, on June 21 at Orchestra Hall.

Chicago Symphony unveils Fritz Reiner bust; honor overdue, says advocate Riccardo Muti

Jun 15, 2016 – 11:38 am
Feature image Reiner sculpture unveiling at CSO. (Todd Rosenberg)

Report: The burning gaze of Fritz Reiner, who presided as sixth music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1953-62, is back in full daunting view at Symphony Center, where on June 14 the CSO unveiled a new bust of the conductor that will greet visitors henceforth in the center’s outer lobby.

CSO Chorus joins city salute to Shakespeare with tragedy, comedy from Berlioz and Verdi

Apr 6, 2016 – 10:26 pm
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Preview: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus help to observe the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in April with performances of two major works under the baton of CSO music director Riccard Muti – Berlioz’s dramatic symphony “Roméo et Juliette” and a concert version of Verdi’s last opera, “Falstaff.” The demands the two works place on the chorus, says director Duain Wolfe, could hardly be more different.

To sub for ailing Muti, spry Russian Rozhdestvensky, 84, agrees to stick around

Feb 5, 2016 – 7:27 am
Conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky

News Release: CHICAGO — Distinguished Russian conductor Gennady Rozhdestvensky, who is currently in Chicago to lead the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in performances of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 & 15 this weekend February 5 & 6, has graciously agreed to remain with the Orchestra for an additional set of concerts on February 11, 12, 13 & 16.  Rozhdestvensky steps in for CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti, who had to withdraw from his February concerts in Chicago due to recovery from a hip operation.

Riccardo Muti, hip ailing, withdraws from February Chicago Symphony concerts

Feb 2, 2016 – 7:15 pm
Maestro Riccardo Muti shares a laugh with the orchestra during a January rehearsal in Taipei (Todd Rosenberg)

News Release: CHICAGO — CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti is unable to conduct his February concerts in Chicago due to recovery from a hip operation that was needed following a minor accident. The concert scheduled for February 19 at Holy Name Cathedral will be postponed with a new date to be announced. A guest conductor or conductors for the CSO’s performances February 11-20 will also be announced at a later date.

Mozart and Beethoven shine in hands of CSO; dust sticks to erstwhile premiere from archives

Oct 3, 2015 – 8:11 am
Riccardo Muti conducts Beethoven

Review: What was good was very good in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s concert with music director Riccardo Muti on Oct. 1 at Orchestra Hall. Then came the program’s bizarre second half, which recalled the previous week’s fare and left one wondering just how weird – and musically marginal – the CSO’s 125th anniversary season will turn out to be.

In two iconic figures of classical music, Muti reveals more to treasure in concert with CSO

Mar 6, 2015 – 3:37 pm
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Review: Who knew that a big middle-period work by Beethoven and a Tchaikovsky symphony would add up to a completely new concert experience? But such was the exhilarating sum of a Chicago Symphony Orchestra program that paired Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano, Violin and Cello with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor conducted by CSO music director Riccardo Muti.

Muti advances campaign for Scriabin as CSO delivers many-splendored Second Symphony

Mar 1, 2015 – 10:26 pm
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Review: Riccardo Muti’s season of advocacy for the symphonies of Alexander Scriabin must be reckoned a blazing success, even with one work remaining for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director to conduct when he makes his final appearances of the season at Orchestra Hall in June. Scriabin’s Second Symphony, currently featured in CSO concerts that continue through March 3, makes the point of musical merit as well as that of historical neglect.

Balm for a winter weekend, Mozart’s Requiem casts warming glow in hands of Muti and CSO

Feb 21, 2015 – 11:16 am
Mozart, detail of plaster relief of wood engraving by Leonard Posch  (Wien Kunsthistorisches Museum)

Review: It was a sad time for Chicago’s musical community, which had lost two respected musicians within days of each other. By astonishing coincidence the scheduled program, dedicated to their memory, included the Requiem by Mozart, whose own life slipped away from him as he wrote it. A bit of the Lacrymosa is the last passage in Mozart’s own hand.

Tour is a tour is a tour? Not for CSO and Muti, bettering Paris-Vienna best at Carnegie Hall

Jan 31, 2015 – 11:20 am
Carnegie Hall at night (Jeff Goldberg, courtesy Carnegie Hall)

Review: Perhaps it’s simply a matter of time zones and surroundings, but the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, playing the same music it had performed in its recent visit to Paris and Vienna, delivered a knockout performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Jan. 30 that outshone its best in those European capitals.

21-year-old Atlanta Symphony bassoonist wins post as new principal with Chicago Symphony

Jan 22, 2015 – 3:33 pm
Kieth Buncke named principal bassoon of Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Report: Keith Buncke was still a Curtis Institute of Music student in February 2014 when he won the principal bassoon job, at 20, with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Now 21, he has taken a second bounce, and it’s a big one – to become the new principal at the CSO.

Bronfman, Muti and CSO sketch chamber music on vast canvas of Brahms’ 2nd Piano Concerto

Jan 16, 2015 – 6:42 pm
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Review: In broad, round terms, the figure of pianist Yefim Bronfman taking his seat at the keyboard to play Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and conductor Riccardo Muti on Jan. 15 immediately brought to mind images of the composer in exactly that posture. When Bronfman’s serene – really beyond sublime – performance had ended, that evocative association only felt confirmed.

Vienna Aisle: Comedic Muti leaves ’em laughing, and impressed by Chicago Symphony’s finesse

Nov 6, 2014 – 3:51 pm
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Interview: Habitués of Chicago’s Orchestra Hall have something in common with audiences in Vienna who heard the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s final European tour concerts last week at the Musikverein. They know the droll, often outrageously funny side of the CSO’s artistically exacting music director, Riccardo Muti. But the conductor was all seriousness when he declared the orchestra’s latest European tour a big success.

Vienna Aisle: Happily in tune with CSO, Muti nixes idea of position at Vienna State Opera

Nov 3, 2014 – 3:43 pm
Chicago Symphony rehearses Verdi Requiem at Vienna Musikverein Oct. 31, 2014 (Todd Rosenberg)

Report: When Riccardo Muti says that the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is one of the greatest orchestras in the world – as he did before 300 adoring guests in an intimate recital space at the famed Musikverein – the Viennese simply take it in stride. Out of politeness and affection alone they would give him that. Muti has been a favorite in the Austrian musical capital for decades. Curiosity about Muti’s Chicago orchestra was high during the CSO’s weeklong visit capping a five-country European tour. So was speculation whether he might be interested in the biggest music directorship in Vienna, suddenly open. But Muti says Chicago’s enough for him.

Paris Aisle: Mid-tour, CSO and Riccardo Muti raise a roof with Tchaikovsky and Schumann

Oct 28, 2014 – 5:10 pm
Riccardo Muti conducts Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4 in Chicago Symphony's tour concert in Paris at the Salle Pleyel Oct. 25 2014 (Todd Rosenberg)

Report: If the Chicago Symphony Orchestra needed an energy infusion halfway into its current European tour, surely that jolt came with its two concerts at Paris’ Salle Pleyel, where music director Riccardo Muti and company enjoyed ripping ovations from capacity audiences. After single-concert stops in Warsaw, Luxembourg and Geneva, the orchestra settled into Paris for two nights, and the Parisians snapped up every ticket to catch the Chicagoans and their celebrated maestro live. Still ahead is a full week of concerts in Vienna to cap the tour.

Muti summons bravura of Tchaikovsky Fourth and elegance of Debussy’s ‘La Mer’ with CSO

Sep 26, 2014 – 5:24 pm
Riccardo Muti conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Debussy and Tchaikovsky Sept. 25, 2014. (Todd Rosenberg)

Review:The crowd went freaking wild at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s whooping finish to Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony under music director Riccardo Muti on Sept. 25 at Orchestra Hall. And understandably so. What a blazer of a performance. But the greater experience was an utterly magical account of Debussy’s “La Mer.”

Riccardo Muti’s starry Beethoven Ninth opens Chicago Symphony season in cosmic fashion

Sep 19, 2014 – 10:08 pm
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Review: The cantata Beethoven composed to Friedrich Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” – that is, the grandiose finale to the Ninth Symphony – may be a rousing crowd-pleaser, but it’s also a good deal more. It’s the peroration of a sweeping dialectic on man’s fate, a closely and tumultuously argued essay spun out in wordless majesty for three-quarters of an hour before the first syllable is uttered.Such was the sum and the magnificence of music director Riccardo Muti’s season opening performance of the Ninth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 18 at Orchestra Hall.

Lessons of Riccardo Muti’s Schubert cycle tell as CSO caps season with poetic Mahler First

Jun 21, 2014 – 1:18 pm
The Chicago Symphony's horn section stands at the finale of Mahler's First Symphony. June 2014 (© Todd Rosenberg)

Review: What Riccardo Muti has brought to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in his first four years as music director was on display June 19 as the orchestra crowned its season with a revelatory pairing of Schubert’s graceful Fifth Symphony and Mahler’s splendorous First.

Leading CSO toward finale of Schubert cycle, Muti imparts mastery of Viennese tradition

Jun 12, 2014 – 11:10 am
Riccardo Muti listens to the Chicago Symphony as he conducts Schubert's Ninth Symphony, March 2014. (Todd Rosenberg)

Interview: Conductor Riccardo Muti’s final two weeks of the season with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra also bring the consummation of his season-long cycle of Schubert’s symphonies. From his perspective “in the middle of the river,” as Muti puts the ongoing project, the CSO is absorbing the style and finesse of his reference ensemble: the Vienna Philharmonic.

Esa-Pekka Salonen, in double duty as conductor and composer, sparks energy surge with CSO

Apr 13, 2014 – 10:28 pm

Review: The Finnish-born, California-invigorated composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen, at 55, could not be more robustly complementary in nature to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s elegant 72-year-old Italian-born music director Riccardo Muti, who has taught Chicago so much about the composers in close orbit to Old Vienna. In March, Muti made familiar Schubert seem new again. In April, Salonen made new music sound familiar.

Riccardo Muti sets personal seal on Schubert with CSO’s agile turn through 2 symphonies

Mar 29, 2014 – 1:50 pm

Review: At the end of an exhilarating Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert, the third installment of music director Riccardo Muti’s season-long traversal of Schubert’s symphonies, the maestro walked to the lip of the stage with a slightly self-deprecating smile and disarmed his audience with a droll remark about the “Italianate influence” in Schubert’s Second Symphony, which the orchestra had just played. Ripples of laughter ensued, but Muti was serious about the echoes of Salieri and Rossini in the Viennese composer’s music.