Articles tagged with: Riccardo Muti
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. ★★★★★
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.
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. ★★★★★
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. ★★★★
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.
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.
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. ★★★★
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. ★★★★★
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.