Thursday, April 14, 2011

CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti on Life, “the accident,” and Mortality

Even from across the hall, Riccardo Muti is beaming. He has just completed his first Chicago Symphony Orchestra rehearsal since what Muti himself has come to call “the accident,” and players and music director alike are virtually euphoric.

CSO president Deborah Rutter looks the happiest I have seen her since Muti arrived here last fall. One longtime player passing by whispers to me, “We are on cloud nine.” If things kept going the way they were before Muti, he adds, “this orchestra would have been in ruins.” Concertmaster Robert Chen walks by flashing an ear-to-ear smile.

Muti is childlike and playful enough that he even warmly greets me, a reporter, by placing his hands on my cheeks and patting them much as Neapolitans do to young children. Read More