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Articles tagged with: Riccardo Muti

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

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

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

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.

To heavenly length of Schubert 9th Symphony, Muti and the CSO bring transcendent poetry

Mar 21, 2014 – 5:01 pm

Review: Riccardo Muti’s season-long traversal of the complete Schubert symphonies with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a few stops remaining, but it’s hard to imagine the musical arc rising much higher than the “Great” C major Symphony heard March 20 at Orchestra Hall.

Joshua Bell, violinist and adventurer, hits the city for recital trek from Tartini’s ‘Devil’ to Stravinsky

Feb 11, 2014 – 5:45 pm
Violinist Joshua Bell will play music by Tartini, Beethoven and Stravinsky at Orchestra Hall. (Eric Kabik)

Review: The entire musical world knows about Joshua Bell, the violin prodigy grown up to become blazing virtuoso. And by now many also know him in a more recent guise as a conductor, indeed as music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. But the man in those robes also sees himself in quite another way – as a musical adventurer. “I tend to agree to pretty much everything I’m asked to do,” says the amused violinist, who comes to Orchestra Hall on Feb. 12 for a recital with pianist Sam Haywood.

From an exotic lark for cellos to MusicNOW, CSO ventures bring heat to frosty cityscape

Feb 7, 2014 – 9:56 am
Giovanni Sollima and  Yo-Yo Ma perform world premiere of Sollima's 'Antidotum Tarantula XXI' with Chicago Symphony Orchestra Jan. 30, 2014 (Todd Rosenberg)

Review: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and its au courant offshoot MusicNOW introduced four contemporary works to Chicago in the space of a single week, including the world premiere of a double cello concerto featuring Yo-Yo Ma and cellist-composer Giovanni Sollima. It’s been cold in Chicago, but it feels like spring with a Riccardo Muti residency in full bloom.

Muti, CSO extend his directorship to 2019-20; next season accents French, Russian music

Feb 3, 2014 – 6:15 pm
Vienna's Musikverein at night (Wiki Commons)

Report: Riccardo Muti has agreed to a five-year extension of his contract as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra through the 2019-20 season, the orchestra announced Monday. Word of the new pact, concluded only Monday morning, came unexpectedly at a press conference to announce the CSO’s season plans for 2014-15, the final year on Muti’s current agreement. The 72-year-old Italian maestro expressed delight at the extension, noting with a wry grin that at its conclusion he will not yet be 80. “The older I get, the more homesick I feel,” he said, “but these musicians and the city of Chicago have made me feel like this is my second home.”

Chicago Symphony on Tour: It’s a red-carpet welcome and rave reviews in Spain’s Canarias

Jan 15, 2014 – 4:51 pm
Auditorio_de_Tenerife (Wiki Commons)

Report: The sail-like hall on the shore of Tenerife, one of Spain’s Canary Islands off the African coast, was home for two concerts by the touring Chicago Symphony Orchestra this week. The famous archipelago is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its winter music festival, where music director Riccardo Muti and the CSO were headliners. Now, they’re off to Germany.

Chicago Symphony on Tour: Flight snafu resolved, musicians open series in Canary Islands

Jan 10, 2014 – 11:59 am
Alfredo Kraus Auditorium. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Canary Islands (Wiki Commons)

Report: Music director Riccardo Muti and the CSO are set to give four performances in the Canary Islands Jan. 10-14. Spain’s idyllic archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa offers architecturally striking concert halls. But the touring musicians were no less subject to travel woes in Chicago’s frigid winter than the rest of us, missing their Madrid connection.

Bernard Rands work inspired by Beckett poetry renews composer’s time-honored link to CSO

Dec 20, 2013 – 1:42 pm
Composer Bernard Rands (BernardRands.com)

Interview: For many, “…where the murmurs die…” will constitute a first Rands encounter. Indeed, this intimate marvel from 1993 is the perfect piece for it, whether one hears it shimmer in the live acoustical space of Orchestra Hall or through a pair of earphones.

CSO president Deborah F. Rutter lands top post at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Arts

Dec 10, 2013 – 4:42 pm
CSO President Deborah F. Rutter has been named next president of  John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C (Todd Rosenberg)

Report: Deborah F. Rutter, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, has been named president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., effective Sept. 1, 2014.

Riccardo Muti and stellar CSO cast honor Verdi bicentennial with a majestic view of Requiem

Oct 11, 2013 – 11:41 am
Verdi Requiem Feature Image Oct. 10, 2013 (Todd Rosenberg)

Review: It’s hardly surprising that anyone familiar with Verdi’s operas would associate his Requiem with that imposing body of music-dramas. The musical language of the one informs the rhetoric of the other. But the difference between Verdi’s stage works and great spiritual drama of the Requiem was the distinguishing feature of conductor Riccardo Muti’s account with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on Oct. 10, the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Relive Chicago Symphony’s Verdi Requiem: Chicago On the Aisle offers clickable concert

Oct 10, 2013 – 4:53 pm
Chicago Symphony Orchestra command truck for Verdi Requiem simulcast Oct. 20, 2013 (Todd Rosenberg)

UPDATE: Get your finest audio headphones ready: A video on demand is now available here of the CSO’s first-ever simulcast — Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem with Riccardo Muti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, soprano Tatiana Serjan, mezzo-soprano Daniela Barcellona, tenor Mario Zeffiri and bass Ildar Abdrazakov.

Russian soprano’s venomous Lady Macbeth sets tone in Chicago Symphony’s Verdi thriller

Sep 30, 2013 – 3:15 pm
Dramatic coloratura soprano Tatiana Serjan as Lady Macbeth with Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Sept. 28, 2013 (© Todd Rosenberg)

Review: Tatiana Serjan is a flat-out thrilling soprano who exudes the temperament of a lioness. She is a Lady Macbeth in her early prime. There isn’t a better place to be this week than Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, where the Russian-born Serjan sings in Verdi’s “Macbeth” under ideal conditions — in concert with other emerging opera stars and the superb forces of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under Riccardo Muti. ★★★★★

Muti finally presiding, CSO delivers Brahms Second Symphony the Asia tour didn’t get

Sep 20, 2013 – 2:08 pm

Review: Ah, so that was the Brahms Second Symphony the Chicago Symphony Orchestra had planned to share with audiences in Asia last winter — on the tour music director Riccardo Muti had to skip because of emergency surgery. With stand-in conductors Osmo Vänskä and Lorin Maazel, the CSO had delivered authoritative, even commanding performances of the Brahms Second on that troubled tour. But to put it plainly, those efforts bore no relation to the exquisite account the CSO summoned Thursday night in its season opener at Orchestra Hall with Muti once again on the podium.

Riccardo Muti turns spotlight on CSO Chorus with lustrous account of Verdi ‘Sacred Pieces’

Jun 22, 2013 – 3:52 pm

Review: Riccardo Muti, winding up his third season as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this weekend, led the orchestra and Chicago Symphony Chorus on a spiritual voyage Thursday night, from luminous Mozart and rapturous Vivaldi to a transcendental peak in Verdi’s glorious “Four Sacred Pieces.” Performances continue through Sunday. ★★★★★

Muti and Chicago Symphony embrace spirit, time-stretching cosmos of ‘Divine’ Scriabin

Jun 7, 2013 – 6:59 pm

Review: There’s a hypnotic enchantment about Alexander Scriabin’s sprawling, sensual “Divine Poem,” and its magic worked at full pitch in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s luxurious performance with music director Riccardo Muti Friday afternoon at Orchestra Hall. ★★★★

Davis’ ‘The Chicago River’ is a natural tributary of Chicago Symphony’s diverse Rivers Festival

May 26, 2013 – 9:13 am
The excursion boat Theodore Roosevelt heads east under the State Street bridge in 1910 credit The Lost Panoramas by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams

Review: Each year in the late spring, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra embarks upon themed programs that seem to be as much about reaching deep into the community, and becoming energized by the community in turn, as they do about any particular theme itself. This year’s festival, called “Rivers,” features the world premiere of “The Chicago River” by Orbert Davis. Inspired by late-19th and early-20th century photographs of the elaborately engineered reversal of the river’s flow, it underscores the notion that a cultural landscape is indeed much like a river — alive, ever present and ever changing.

CSO Rivers Festival explores the enchantment of waterways, their impact on human history

May 9, 2013 – 4:29 pm
Chicago Symphony music director Riccardo Muti at the Chicago River 2013 Rivers Festival credit Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Preview: Literally and metaphorically, rivers seem to flow in every direction across our lives; indeed, across life. It’s not hard to see how the Chicago Symphony Orchestra might have hit on the concept of its Rivers Festival, a multifaceted month-long exploration and tribute that opens musically May 9 at Orchestra Hall.

Day in Rhineland: Muti, Chicago Symphony translate Schumann Third into vivid travelogue

Apr 26, 2013 – 12:32 pm

Review: Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat isn’t known as the “Rhenish” for nothing. I felt very much like Schumann’s Rhine-journeying companion Thursday night, listening to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s radiant performance of the Third Symphony conducted by music director Riccardo Muti. ★★★★

With Muti back at helm, Chicago Symphony applies classic touch to Mozart, Beethoven

Apr 19, 2013 – 3:30 pm
Riccardo Muti conducted Mozart's "Prague" Symphony and Beethoven's 4th Symphony with a classically-sized Chicago Symphony Orchestra April 18, 2013 credit Todd Rosenberg

Review: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart-Beethoven concert Thursday night with music director Riccardo Muti felt like one long “aha!” moment. Here was the full measure of finesse, composure and pliancy the orchestra had expected to put on display for audiences in Southeast Asia with Muti at the helm, but in his absence never entirely achieved. ★★★★★

Youths at detention center set lives to music with aid of CSO musicians, praise from Muti

Apr 17, 2013 – 11:17 am
CSO bass Daniel Armstrong spent 5 days with residents of Cook Cty Juvenile Temp Detention Ctr to help prep their concert  - photo by Todd Rosenberg

Report: The first time Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Riccardo Muti visited the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, in September 2012, it was to offer a concert to more than 100 youths awaiting trial for serious crimes. For his return visit on April 14, the music was provided by juveniles with help from CSO musicians, and it was Muti who took a turn in the audience.