Legends: Riccardo Muti

Riccardo Muti’s career started in 1967, when he won the Guido Cantelli Conducting Competition in Milan and, immediately after, in 1968, he became the principal conductor of Maggio Musical Fiorentino, a position he held until 1980. 

Certainly, Muti’s career in full of highlights that couldn’t be not mentioned and one of the first of those took place in 1971, when the legendary Herbert von Karajan invited him to conduct at the Salzburg Festival, an invitation that led to a forty year collaboration with the Australian festival, celebrated in 2010. From 1972 to 1982, Muti was also the principal conductor of London’s Philharmonic Orchestra, while from 1980 to 1992, he inherited the position of Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra, succeeding Eugene Ormandy. 

Riccardo Muti is also known for having had the longest tenure as Teatro alla Scala’s Musical Director in the history is this institution: from 1986 to 2005. During these years, directed major projects such as the Mozart-Da Ponte Trilogy and the Wagnerian Ring Cycle and brought his incredible contribution to Verdi’s repertoire, conducting Ernani, Nabucco, I Vespri Siciliani, La Traviata, Attila, Don Carlos, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Macbeth, La Forza del Destino, Il Trovatore, Otello, Aida, Un ballo in Maschera, I Due Foscari, I Masnadieri. . Alongside the classics of the repertoire, he brought many rarely performed and neglected works to light, including pieces from the Neapolitan school of the Eighteenth Century, as well as operas by Gluck, Cherubini, and Spontini. Poulenc’s Les dialogues des Carmélites earned Muti the prestigious Abbiati Prize from the critics.

The long period spent as Music Director of Teatro alla Scala culminated on December 7th, 2004, in the triumphant re-opening of the restored opera house with Antonio Salieri’s Europa riconosciuta.

Read the entire article & many other interesting interviews here, in the 2nd/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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