L’Ape musicale

rivista di musica, arti, cultura


Riccardo Muti was born in Naples and studied the piano with Vincenzo Vitale at the city's Conservatorio di San Pietro a Majella, graduating with distinction before going on to study composition and conducting with Bruno Bettinelli and Antonino Votto at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservator y in Milan .

Riccardo Muti first came to the attention of critics and public alike in 1967, when he was unanimously awarded the first prize in the Guido Cantelli Conducting Competition in Milan. The following year he was appointed the principal conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, a position he held until 1980. In 1971 he was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, the first of many such occasions. From 1972 to 1982 he was Otto Klemperer's successor as principal conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London. In 1980 he took over from Eugene Ormandy as music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, remaining in charge until 1992.

From 1986 to 2005 Riccardo Muti was music director of La Scala, Milan. During his tenure – the longest in the house's histor y – he oversaw several major projects, including a Mozart - Da Ponte cycle and Wagner's R i n g . Alongside the classics of the reper toire, including numerous operas by Verdi, he also brought many rarely per formed and neglected works to light, including Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, for which he won the prestigious Premio Abbiati. In December 2004 he triumphantly reopened the restored opera house with Salieri's Europa riconosciuta .

In the course of his exceptional career, Riccardo Muti has conducted many of the world's leading orchestras from the Berlin Philharmonic and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra to the New York Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France.

He has particularly close ties to the Vienna Philharmonic and has appeared with the orchestra at the Salzburg Festival on a regular basis since 1971. When he conducted the orchestra's 150t h anniversary concert in 1992, he was presented with its Golden Ring, a special sign of esteem and affection, awarded only to a few select conductors. He conducted the prestigious and extremely famous New Year's Concert in Vienna five times, in 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2018 . In 2021 the continuous collaboration between Riccardo Muti and the Vienna Philharmonic will reach 51 years.

In 2004 Muti founded the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which is made up of young musicians selected by an international jur y from more than 600 instrumentalists from all over Italy.

Muti's social and civic conscience as an artist is reflected in the concerts he has conducted as part of his project "Le vie dell’Amicizia" (The Paths of Friendship) that is organized by the Ravenna Festival since 1997. These concerts are given in places that symbolize our troubled past and contemporary history. Among the ensembles that he has conducted on these occasions are the Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus of La Scala, the Orchestra and Chorus of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Musicians of Europe United – a group of leading players from Europe's major orchestras – and the Cherubini Youth Orchestra. Muti's multi - award - winning discography ranges from Classical symphonic works to operas and contemporar y music. His current label is RMMusic (www.riccardomutimusic.com).

Riccardo Muti has received innumerable awards. He is a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Italian Republic, a recipient of the German Order of Merit , an Of ficer of the French Legion of Honour and an honorar y KnightCommander of the British Empire . The Salzburg Mozarteum has awarded him its Silver Medal, and in Vienna heis an honorar y member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle and the Vienna StateOpera . He has additionally been awarded the Russian Order of Friendship and Israel's Wolf Prize for the Arts .

In 2007 Riccardo Muti initiated a five-year project with the Cherubini Orchestra at the Salzburg Whitsun Festival devoted to the rediscover y and reassessment of the operatic and sacred music heritage of the Neapolitan school of the 18t h centur y.

In September 2010 Riccardo Muti became music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In 2011 his live recording of the Verdi Messa da Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus won two GrammyAwards in two categories: Best Classical Album and Best Choral Per formance .

In 2011 Muti not only received the coveted Birgit Nilsson Prize , the Prince of Asturias Prize for the Ar ts and an Opera News Award, he was also appointed an honorar y member of the Vienna Philharmonic and honorar ydirector for life of the Rome Opera . In 2012 he was awarded the highest papal honour when Pope Benedict XVIappointed him a Knight of the Grand Cross First Class of the Order of St Gregor y the Great . In 2016 he was honoured by the Japanese government with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. In October 2018, Muti received the prestigious Praemium Imperiale for Music of the Japan Ar ts Association in Tokyo. He has received more than 20 honorary degrees from the most important universities of the world.

In July 2015 Riccardo Muti set up a further scheme for training young musicians, when the first Riccardo MutiItalian Opera Academy for young conductors, répétiteurs and singers attracted participants from all over the worldto the Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna, and later in Tokyo. The aim of the academy is to pass on to young musicians Muti's experience and mastery and to familiarize audiences with the complex process that goes into performing opera (www.riccardomutioperacademy.com).

At present, Riccardo Muti is Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

For more information about Riccardo Muti visit: www. riccardomuti . com




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