• Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011

    Riccardo Muti Makes First Carnegie Hall Appearances As Music Director of CSO, April 15-17


    April 15 Marks Muti’s 60th Performance at Carnegie Hall

    Programs Demonstrate Muti’s Versatility from
    Verdi Opera in Concert to Works by Berlioz, Cherubini, Liszt, and Shostakovich

    From April 15–17, Riccardo Muti makes his first Carnegie Hall appearances as Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), leading three performances with the orchestra in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Maestro Muti began his tenure as the CSO’s music director at the start of 2010–2011 season. The first concert in the series will mark Maestro Muti’s 60th concert at Carnegie Hall, a history that began in 1975 when he led a performance by The Philadelphia Orchestra. His most recent concerts at Carnegie Hall were with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 2006.

    The three-night series begins on Friday, April 15 at 8:00 p.m., with the CSO, Chicago Symphony Chorus, and Maestro Muti performing Verdi’s masterwork opera Otello in concert, with tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko singing the title role. Mr. Muti is considered one of today’s foremost interpreters of Verdi’s music and has said that the composer is the closest to his heart. Recently, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Muti won two Grammy Awards—Best Classical Album and Best Choral Performance—for their 2010 recording of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem, the conductor’s first release on the Orchestra’s own CSO Resound label.

    Verdi’s penultimate opera, Otello leaves much of Shakespeare’s dramatic narrative and conflict to be expressed by the orchestra. In addition to Mr. Antonenko, soloists for this performance include soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, mezzo-soprano Barbara Di Castri, tenors Juan Francisco Gatell and Michael Spyres, baritone Nicola Alaimo, bass-baritone Eric Owens, and basses Paolo Battaglia and David Goversten, along with the Chicago Children’s Choir.

    The next evening on Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m., Maestro Muti and the orchestra perform an all-Berlioz program that includes two works that that are rarely (but intended to be) performed together: the popular Symphonie fantastique and its lesser-known sequel Lélio (or The Return to Life), which will feature Academy Award-nominated actor Gérard Depardieu as narrator, as well as tenor Mario Zeffiri, bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, and the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Beginning with the famous recurring “beloved” theme from Symphonie fantastique, Lélio is a semi-theatrical, programmatic work that combines music and narration to express the act of an artist “returning to life” after a profound traumatic experience brought on by unrequited love.

    Rounding out this three-concert series on Sunday, April 17 at 2:00 p.m. the CSO and Maestro Muti perform Shostakovich’s powerful Symphony No. 5, Cherubini’s Overture in G Major, and Liszt’s Les préludes.

    About the Artists
    Born in Naples, Italy, 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, Mr. Muti was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct at the Salzburg Festival; his association with the Vienna Philharmonic and the festival continues today. Mr. Muti has served as Principal Conductor of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Chief Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra, Music Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and Music Director of the Teatro alla Scala. In 2006, he was appointed Artistic Director of Salzburg’s Pentecost Festival. Over the course of his extraordinary career, Maestro Muti has conducted most of the important orchestras in the world, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, among others. He made his debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival in July 1973. His appointment as the CSO’s tenth music director was announced in May 2008, and in September 2010, he assumed the post for a five-year term.

    The Chicago Symphony Chorus, under the current leadership of Duain Wolfe, has earned respect, admiration, and critical acclaim as one of the finest symphonic choruses in the world through its performances in the United States and abroad. The Chicago Symphony Chorus began in September 1957, when the CSO announced that Margaret Hillis, at Music Director Fritz Reiner’s invitation, would organize and train a symphony chorus. Since then, the Chicago Symphony Chorus has performed and recorded virtually all the major works in the choral symphonic repertoire, given important world premieres, appeared with visiting orchestras, and been a part of many noteworthy milestones in the CSO’s history. In June 1994, Duain Wolfe was appointed the second director of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, succeeding Ms. Hillis, who was named director laureate. Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings featuring the chorus have won 10 Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance.

    The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is hailed as one of today’s leading orchestras. In September 2010, conductor Riccardo Muti became the CSO’s tenth music director. French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, whose long-standing 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 internationally renowned conductors and guest artists, the CSO performs over 150 concerts each year at its downtown Chicago home, Symphony Center, and at the Ravinia Festival on Chicago’s North Shore, where it is in residence each summer. Through The Institute for Learning, Access, and Training; the CSO engages more than 200,000 Chicago-area residents annually. Since 1916, recording has been a significant part of the orchestra’s activities and over the years they have earned 62 Grammy Awards. In 2007, three highly successful media initiatives were launched—CSO Resound, the orchestra’s in-house record label for CDs and digital downloads; a return to the national airwaves with a new, self-produced weekly broadcast series which is syndicated to more than 300 markets nationwide on the WFMT Radio Network as well as online at cso.org; and the expansion of the CSO’s web presence with free video downloads of innovative Beyond the Score presentations. In January 2010, Yo-Yo Ma became the CSO’s first Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, appointed by Riccardo Muti for a three-year term. Two new Mead Composers-in-Residence began two-year terms in the fall of 2010: Mason Bates and Anna Clyne.

    Program Information
    Friday, April 15 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    Riccardo Muti, Music Director and Conductor
    Aleksandrs Antonenko, Tenor (Otello)
    Krassimira Stoyanova, Soprano (Desdemona)
    Nicola Alaimo, Baritone (Iago)
    Barbara Di Castri, Mezzo-Soprano (Emilia)
    Juan Francisco Gatell, Tenor (Cassio)
    Michael Spyres, Tenor (Roderigo)
    Paolo Battaglia, Bass (Montano)
    Eric Owens, Bass-Baritone (Lodovico)
    David Govertsen, Bass (Herald)
    Chicago Symphony Chorus
    Duain Wolfe, Director
    Chicago Children's Choir
    Josephine Lee, Artistic Director

    GIUSEPPE VERDI Otello (Concert Performance)

    The Trustees of Carnegie Hall gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Fried in support of the 2010-2011 season.

    Tickets: $48–$150

    Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    Riccardo Muti, Music Director and Conductor
    Gérard Depardieu, Narrator
    Mario Zeffiri, Tenor
    Kyle Ketelsen, Bass-Baritone
    Chicago Symphony Chorus
    Duain Wolfe, Director

    Symphonie fantastique, Op. 14
    Lélio, Op. 14bis

    Tickets: $44–$136

    Sunday, April 17 at 2:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage

    Riccardo Muti, Music Director and Conductor

    LUIGI CHERUBINI Overture in G Major
    FRANZ LISZT Les préludes
    DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5 in D Minor, Op. 47

    Tickets: $44–$136

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.

    Ticket Information
    Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

    In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.


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