Riccardo Muti becomes Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s music director emeritus for life


CHICAGO (AP) — Riccardo Muti will become the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s music director emeritus for life starting next season.

The announcement was made on the stage of Orchestra Hall on Friday night after a performance of Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” the start of Muti’s final subscription weekend as music director. His tenure began with the 2010-11 season.

Muti repeats the Beethoven on Saturday night and Sunday, then closes his tenure Tuesday night with a free concert in Millennium Park.

Muti, who turns 82 in July, is scheduled to conduct the CSO for six weeks in each of the next two seasons. His CSO schedule for 2023-24 starts with two weeks opening the season in Chicago, two concerts to start Carnegie Hall’s season on Oct. 4 and 5, and a three-week European tour from Jan. 11-29 with performances in Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Austria and Italy.

His 2024-25 season with the CSO will include four weeks in Chicago and two on tour. The orchestra said annual weeks in additional seasons are being discussed.

Muti’s career has included lengthy tenures with Italy’s Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1968-80), London’s Philharmonia Orchestra (1972-82), the Philadelphia Orchestra (1980-92) and Milan’s Teatro alla Scala (1986-2005).

He is just the fifth CSO music director in seven decades, following Fritz Reiner (1953-62), Jean Martinon (1963-68), Georg Solti (1969-91) and Daniel Barenboim (1991-2006).

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