Muti to return to CSO in January

  • Riccardo Muti

    Riccardo Muti

Updated 11/1/2010 3:36 PM

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has a lot to be thankful for this month after learning music director Riccardo Muti is feeling better while recuperating at his Ravenna, Italy, home. In early October, Muti was forced to cancel the final half of his one-month fall residency, including the Oct. 2 annual gala concert.

Muti, 69, was diagnosed with "extreme exhaustion as a result of prolonged physical stress," according to a statement released by his doctors following a two-day stay at the famed San Raffaele Hospital in Milan.


According to CSO Association President Deborah F. Rutter, Muti is expected to return to Chicago in late January to prepare for his three weeks of concerts in February, and that his spring 2011 residency, which includes April concert performances of Giuseppe Verdi's "Otello," will also go on as planned.

"I will do as my doctors say and rest completely, so that I may return to Chicago in February ready to collaborate with the magnificent musicians of the CSO and continue the community programs we started in September," Muti said last month in a statement. from Italy. "I very much appreciate the outpouring of well wishes and support from the members of the CSO family and residents of my new musical home, Chicago, and I look forward to my return."

Several of the world's leading conductors filled in for Muti in his absence, including conductor emeritus Pierre Boulez, and from Lyric Opera of Chicago, music director Sir Andrew Davis and guest conductors Asher Fisch and Harry Bicket.

Meanwhile, Symphony Center remains very busy this fall, with the following upcoming events of special interest:

"Beyond the Score" season debut: Guest conductor Antonio Pappano will kick off the fifth season of the CSO's acclaimed "Beyond the Score" series at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, with an exploration of Felix Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4, better known as the "Italian Symphony." Led by "Beyond the Score" creative director Gerard McBurney, the first half of the program will include narration and live musical examples to provide an in-depth look at Mendelssohn's masterwork, including never-before-heard excerpts of earlier versions of the symphony. The second half of the program will feature a complete performance of the work, conducted by Pappano.

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Also, at 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, Nov. 11 and 13, Pappano will lead the CSO in regular subscription concerts that feature the Mendelssohn work and also include Mozart's Symphony No. 23 in D Major, K. 181, and Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto, with American pianist Jonathan Biss as soloist.

"Psycho" with orchestra: The curtain rises on the CSO's "Friday Night at the Movies" series at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, with Alfred Hitchcock's famous 1960 thriller, "Psycho." The orchestra will perform Bernard Herrmann's legendary strings-only score as the complete film is shown on an overhead screen, with veteran movie and television conductor Richard Kaufman on the podium.

The "Friday Night at the Movies" series, in its seventh year, gives audiences a chance to not only see film masterworks, but also to hear their music scores performed live. Note that "Psycho" is rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America because of its adult content.

"Psycho," which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, stars Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Martin Balsam and John Gavin. The film portrays the fate of Marion Crane (portrayed by Miles) who, after stealing $40,000 from her Phoenix employer, decides to stay on a rainy night at the remote Bates Motel in rural California.

Tickets for the Nov. 12 and 14 "Beyond the Score" events are $23-$127. Tickets for the Nov. 11 and 13 subscription concerts are $28-$239. For the Nov. 19 "Friday Night at the Movies," tickets are $34-$125.

Call the Symphony Center box office at (312) 294-3000 or (800) 223-7114, go online at, or visit the box office at 220 S. Michigan Ave.