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Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Riccardo Muti, Receives Three New Honors

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Riccardo Muti, Receives Three New Honors

Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), and an internationally celebrated conductor, can now add three more awards to the dozens he has received over the course of his career.

Two are from the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella in Maestro Muti's hometown of Naples, Italy, where he studied piano under Vincenzo Vitale and graduated with distinction. The third is from the Società Italia Argentina, based in Rome.

On Saturday, March 1, 2014, the Conservatory honored Maestro Muti with the San Pietro a Majella Prize. The Conservatory also named a room after Maestro Muti. The former foyer of Scarlatti Hall in the Conservatory will now be known as Riccardo Muti Hall, the first time in the Conservatory's history that a room has been named after a living person. According to Elsa Evangelista, director of the Conservatory, the space was dedicated to Maestro Muti because he is the most illustrious of living alumni of the Conservatory.

In an article about the two honors that was published March 2, 2014 by the Italian website, Campania Su Web, Maestro Muti was quoted, "For me, it all started here.... The fact that my name is linked to the hall of the foyer, where the greatest conductors in the world have passed, moves me. This place, as one can see through its library, its architecture, and its history, belongs not only to Naples, but to the whole world, to humanity and the history of culture." (based on a Google translation via the Chrome browser).

The Società Italia Argentina announced that on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, it awarded Maestro Muti its Gold Medal Prize for Italian Culture in Argentina. A statement issued by the organization indicated that Maestro Muti was honored "for having spread in Argentina, personally and with all his work, the excellence of Italian culture, contributing to the improvement in the relations between the two peoples and nations."

Maestro Muti is in residence through March 8 at the Rome Opera (Teatro dell'Opera di Roma), where he is conducting the Giacomo Puccini opera, Manon Lescaut. In addition to serving as music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Muti is the honorary director for life of the Rome Opera.

Maestro Muti returns to Chicago later this month for two weeks of programs that continue the cycle of Schubert's symphonic works that began at the start of the 2013/14 season. CSO Concerts with Maestro Muti take place March 20-22 and 26-29, 2014. The first week's program features Schubert's Symphony No. 9, the "Great" C Major and pianist Mitsuko Uchida as the soloist in Schumann's Piano Concerto. On March 26-29, CSO Principal Cello John Sharp joins Maestro Muti and the CSO as the soloist in Elgar's Cello Concerto. The March 26 performance is part ofan Afterwork Masterworks program that starts at 6:30 p.m. and is performed without an intermission. It includes a Q&A session after the performance with Maestro Muti and John Sharp.

About Riccardo Muti (www.RiccardoMutiMusic.com)
Riccardo Muti, born in Naples, Italy, is one of the preeminent conductors of our day. In 2010, when he became the tenth music director of the world-renowned Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), he had more than forty years of experience at the helm of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence (1968-80); the Philharmonia Orchestra in London (1972-82); the Philadelphia Orchestra (1980-1992); and Teatro alla Scala in Milan (1986-2005).

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