Born in Naples, Riccardo Muti studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella in Naples and subsequently received a diploma with highest distinction in composition and conducting from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. He first came to the attention of the critics in 1967 when he won the Guido Cantelli International Conducting Competition in Milan. One of the most preeminent conductors of our time, Riccardo Muti has conducted many of the world’s great orchestras. In his early career he was Music Director of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Philharmonia Orchestra in London, Philadelphia Orchestra, and La Scala in Milan. At present, he is Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he has enjoyed a long artistic collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Salzburg Festival. Throughout his career Muti has been dedicated to the training of young musicians, founding the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra in 2004 composed of young musicians from all over Italy. More recently, he established the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy for young conductors, répétiteurs and singers, which first performed in 2015. The purpose of the Academy is to pass on his experience and to train young people in Italian Opera. Muti has received innumerable international honours over the course of his career and has also been awarded more than twenty honorary degrees from universities in Italy and abroad. His vast catalogue of recordings, that received many awards, ranges from symphonic music and opera to contemporary compositions.
Portrait: © Todd Rosenberg
Courtesy of RMMusic – www.riccardomutimusic.com
Riccardo Muti studied piano in Naples, his birthplace, and subsequently received a diploma in composition and conducting in Milan. He first came to the attention of critics and public in 1967, when he won - by unanimous vote of the jury - the Guido Cantelli International Conducting Competition.
From 1968 to 1980 Muti was principal conductor of the “Maggio Musicale Fiorentino”. In 1971 he was invited by Herbert von Karajan to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, the first of many occasions, which led to an uninterrupted artistic collaboration with the Austrian festival.
In his extraordinary career, Riccardo Muti has conducted the most important orchestras of the world: from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, from the New York Philharmonic to the Orchestre National de France, as well as the Vienna Philharmonic, an orchestra to which he is linked by particularly close and important ties. He was chief conductor of the London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra and of the Teatro alla Scala. His tenure as music director was the longest of any in La Scala history. Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 2010, his contract has been extended through the 2021/22 season.
Invited to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic’s 150th anniversary concert, Muti was presented with the Golden Ring by the orchestra, a special sign of esteem and affection. The continuous collaboration with the Vienna Philarmonic has been going on for 48 years and in 2018 he conducted for the fifth time - after 1993, 1997, 2000 and 2004 - the prestigious and extremely famous New Year’s Concert in Vienna.
In 2004, Muti founded the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra, which is composed of young musicians selected by an international committee from more than 600 instrumentalists from all over Italy. His desire to devote even more to the training of young musicians was realized in 2015, when the first edition of the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy
for young conductors, répétiteurs and singers took place in Ravenna.
His social and civic conscience as an artist is demonstrated by his concerts performed in places symbolizing our troubled past and contemporary history such as Sarajevo, Beirut, Jerusalem to name just a few.
Riccardo Muti has received innumerable international honors and more than twenty honorary degrees from many universities in Italy and abroad.
Many are the important recognitions he has been awarded. Among them, in 2011, the Birgit Nilsson Prize, presented in a ceremony at the Royal Opera in Stockholm in the presence of H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf and H.M. Queen Silvia and Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts, presented by H.R.H. the Prince of Asturias. He is honorary member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle, the Vienna State Opera and in 2011 he was named an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic. In 2012 he was awarded the highest Papal honor, the Knight of the Grand Cross First Class of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI.
From 1975 to 2016 Riccardo Muti conducted more than 150 performances in Japan, where, in 2016, the Japanese Government honored him with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.www.riccardomuti.com