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February 2014
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MUTI-plied: CSO Extends Conductor to 2020

CSO music director Riccardo Muti; photo by Todd Rosenberg

CSO music director Riccardo Muti; photo by Todd Rosenberg

View the CSO’s 2014-2015 season.

Chicago Symphony music director Riccardo Muti announced today that he had extended his contract through August of 2020. Ever dramatic, Maestro Muti confessed he’s gotten “more homesick with age”—which could have been the preamble to a farewell—except, he revealed, that “Chicago had become a second home.”

The pairing of that orchestra and conductor has been like a Hollywood marriage—everyone wants to catch a glimpse of the darlings and share in their happiness. Today, Riccardo Muti may be the most coveted conductor on the planet, but he said of this orchestra, “They have changed me. The musicians are so wonderful, I go happy and relaxed to work with them. I’ve become more accessible.” Mr. Muti also took the opportunity to reference European critics who have called the CSO the “greatest American orchestra,” and to say that it ranks alongside the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics as the top orchestras in the world.

Maestro Muti’s original contract was set to expire in 2015. The announcement came as Maestro Muti and CSO president Deborah Rutter unveiled the 2014-2015 concert season. The vigorous 72-year-old Muti made numerous geriatric jokes about himself, but then grinned that his great-grandfather got remarried at 76. Mr. Muti also quipped he would not yet be 80 when his term was up.


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