Chicago Symphony OrchestraMore Info
A musical force in Chicago and around the world, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
has been consistently hailed as one of the finest international orchestras since it was
founded in 1891. In September 2010, renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti became the
CSO's 10th Music Director. His vision for the orchestra-to deepen its engagement with the
Chicago community, to nurture its legacy while supporting a new generation of musicians,
and to collaborate with visionary artists-signals a new era for the institution. French
composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, whose longstanding relationship with the CSO led to
his appointment as principal guest conductor in 1995, was named Helen Regenstein Conductor
Emeritus in 2006.
In collaboration with renowned conductors and guest artists on the international music
scene, the CSO performs well over 150 concerts each year at its home, Symphony Center, and
in summer residency at the Ravinia Festival. With the launch of The Institute for Learning,
Access and Training, the CSO engages more than 200,000 Chicago-area residents annually.
Music lovers outside Chicago enjoy the sounds of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra not only
through its Chicago Symphony Orchestra Radio Broadcast Series and best-selling
recordings on its acclaimed in-house record label CSO Resound, but also through sold-out
tour performances in the United States and around the globe. Since 1971, the CSO has
undertaken 36 overseas tours, including 27 to Europe, six to the Far East, and one each to
Russia, Australia, and South America. Bank of America is the global sponsor of the CSO.
Visit cso.org for more information.
Born in Naples, world-renowned conductor Riccardo Muti first came to the attention of
critics and the public in 1967, when he won the Guido Cantelli Competition for conductors
in Milan. In 1971, he was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct at the Salzburg
Festival; his association with both the festival and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
continues today. Mr. Muti has served as principal conductor of the Maggio Musicale
Fiorentino, chief conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and music director of The
Philadelphia Orchestra and Teatro alla Scala. In 2006, he was appointed Artistic Director
of Salzburg's Pentecost Festival, and he currently serves as Music Director of the Chicago
Symphony Orchestra, a post he assumed in September 2010. Mr. Muti was awarded his first two
Grammy Awards for his debut recording with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of
Verdi's Requiem, released on the CSO Resound label in September 2010.
Mr. Muti has demonstrated social and civic conscience as an artist through concerts in
numerous locations symbolizing the world's troubled past and contemporary history, which he
has conducted as part of the Ravenna Festival's Le vie dell'Amicizia (The
Paths of Friendship) project. These have included performances in L'Aquila, Sarajevo,
Beirut, Jerusalem, Moscow, Yerevan, Istanbul, New York, Cairo, Damascus, and El Djem. In
July 2010 in Trieste, Italy, he organized an orchestra of more than 650 young musicians
from Italy, Croatia, and Slovenia for a Concert for Friendship before a crowd
numbering more than 10,000, including the presidents of those three countries in
acknowledgement of their commitment to building a future of cooperation.
In 2004, Mr. Muti founded the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which consists of young
musicians selected by an international committee from some 600 Italian instrumentalists. In
May 2007, he began a five-year project dedicated to the Neapolitan School of the 18th
Century with the Cherubini Orchestra as part of the Salzburg Whitsun Festival.
Innumerable honors have been bestowed on Riccardo Muti over the course of his career. He
has been made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Italian Republic and has received the
Verdienstkreuz from Germany; recently, he received the decoration of Officer of the Legion
of Honor from French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a private ceremony held at Élysée Palace.
He also was made an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.
The Salzburg Mozarteum awarded him its silver medal for his contribution to Mozart's music,
and in Vienna he has been elected an honorary member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde,
the Wiener Hofmusikkapelle, and the Wiener Staatsoper. President Vladimir Putin of Russia
awarded him the Order of Friendship, and the State of Israel has honored him with the Wolf
Prize for the arts. In March 2011, he was selected as the second-ever winner of the Birgit
Nilsson Prize. Visit riccardomuti.com for more information.