Riccardo Muti to Conduct Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

Riccardo Muti to Conduct Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall presents the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in three concerts conducted by Music Director Riccardo Muti, January 30 to February 1 in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage. The series begins on Friday, January 30 at 8:00 p.m. with Muti leading a program featuring two portraits of the sea, Mendelssohn's Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage Overture and Debussy's La mer, paired with Scriabin's Symphony No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 43, "The Divine Poem," in which the Russian composer's newfound mysticism and fascination with touching all of the senses through music is at the core of an extravagantly scored work.

The second program on Saturday, January 31 at 8:00 p.m. features two German masterpieces: Brahms's massive Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83, with guest soloist Yefim Bronfman and Schumann's Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 97, "Rhenish," a joyful and warmly melodic snapshot of the Rhineland and one of the composer's most popular works.

In the final concert on Sunday, February 1 at 2:00 p.m., Muti conducts works by two Russian composers for whom he has a remarkable affinity, returning to Scriabin and leading his Symphony No. 1 in E Major, Op. 26, a passionate ode to art that culminates in a triumphant chorus, and concluding with a performance of Prokofiev's cantata Alexander Nevsky, a thrilling work evoking Russia's medieval victory over invading Teutonic knights. For this concluding concert, the CSO and Muti will be joined by the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Duain Wolfe, Director; mezzo-soprano Alisa Kolosova; and tenor Sergey Skorokhodov.

The January 30 concert will be broadcast live on WQXR 105.9 FM in New York as part of the fourth annual Carnegie Hall Live broadcast and digital series, produced by WQXR and Carnegie Hall and hosted by WQXR's Jeff Spurgeon. Concerts in the series are available for live streaming on wqxr.org and carnegiehall.org/wqxr. During every live broadcast, WQXR and Carnegie Hall will host live web chats, including Twitter commentary by the broadcast team, from backstage and in the control room, connecting national and international fans to the music and to each other. This year, the WFMT Radio Network, the classical music and arts radio distributor and producer based in Chicago, has signed on to distribute select live concerts nationally. The complete Carnegie Hall Live line-up will also be available via WFMT Radio Network to public radio stations throughout the United States and internationally as a 13-part series starting in April 2015.

About the Artists
Riccardo Muti, born in Naples, Italy, is one of the preeminent conductors of our day. When he became the tenth music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2010, Muti already had more than forty years of experience at the helm of Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (1968-1980), the Philharmonia Orchestra (1972-1982), the Philadelphia Orchestra (1980-1992) and Teatro alla Scala (1986-2005). He continues to be in demand as a guest conductor for other orchestras and opera houses around the world.

Since 1971, Muti has been closely associated with the Salzburg Festival and the Vienna Philharmonic, of which he is an honorary member. When he conducted the Philharmonic's 150th anniversary concert in 1992, Muti was presented with the Golden Ring, a special sign of esteem, and in 2001, his artistic contributions to the orchestra were further recognized with the Otto Nicolai Gold Medal.

Muti studied piano at the Conservatory of San Pietro a Majella in Naples, graduating with distinction. He subsequently received a diploma in composition and conducting from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, also graduating with distinction.

Throughout his career, Muti has demonstrated a strong commitment to training young musicians. In 2004, he founded the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini (Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra) and in 2015, he will begin the Riccardo Muti Italian Opera Academy to train young conductors, répétiteurs, and singers in the Italian opera repertoire.

Since 1997, as part of a project of the Ravenna Festival in Italy, Le vie dell'Amicizia (The paths of friendship), Muti has annually conducted large-scale concerts in troubled areas around the world, using music to promote hope and unity and to bring attention to social, cultural, and humanitarian issues.

Muti has received numerous honors from Italy, the United States, Germany, Austria, Great Britain, Israel, Spain, Russia, Sweden, and the Vatican as well as more than twenty honorary degrees from universities across the globe.

His vast catalog of recordings, numbering in the hundreds, ranges from traditional symphonic and operatic repertoire to contemporary works. Muti also has written two books, Verdi, l'italiano and Riccardo Muti: An Autobiography: First the Music, Then the Words, both published in several languages.

Yefim Bronfman is widely regarded as one of the most talented virtuoso pianists performing today. His commanding technique and exceptional lyrical gifts have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide, whether for his solo recitals, his orchestral engagements, or his catalogue of recordings.

Summer festivals at Tanglewood, Aspen, Vail, La Jolla, and a residency at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival provided the starting point for Mr. Bronfman's 2014-2015 season, which will also include performances in the US with the symphonies of Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, Atlanta, and Pittsburgh, the New World Symphony, Met Orchestra, and the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics. Continuing his commitment to contemporary composers, the world premiere of a concerto written for him by Jörg Widmann is scheduled with the Berliner Philharmoniker in December as well as performances of Magnus Lindberg's Concerto No. 2 with the Göteborgs Symfoniker and the London Philharmonic. With The Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst, Mr. Bronfman will play and record both Brahms concertos, repertoire he will also take to Milan's La Scala with Valery Gergiev. After a break of many years, he will return to Japan for recitals and orchestral concerts with London's Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen and to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Sydney, and Melbourne. In the spring, he will join Anne-Sophie Mutter and Lynn Harrell for their first US tour together.

Born in Tashkent in the Soviet Union on 10 April 1958, Mr. Bronfman immigrated to Israel with his family in 1973, where he studied with pianist Arie Vardi, head of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University. In the US, he studied at The Juilliard School, Marlboro, and the Curtis Institute, and with Rudolf Firkusny, Leon Fleisher, and Rudolf Serkin. Mr. Bronfman became an American citizen in 1989.

Founded in 1891, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is consistently hailed as one of the greatest orchestras in the world. Its 10th music director since 2010 is Riccardo Muti, one of the preeminent conductors of our day. Pierre Boulez is the CSO's Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus, Yo-Yo Ma is its Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, and Mason Bates and Anna Clyne are its Mead Composers-in-Residence. From baroque through contemporary music, the CSO commands a vast repertoire. Its renowned musicians annually perform more than 150 concerts, most at Symphony Center in Chicago and, each summer, at the suburban Ravinia Festival. They regularly tour nationally and internationally. Since 1892, the CSO has made 58 international tours, performing in 29 countries on five continents.

Music lovers around the globe can listen to weekly radio broadcasts of CSO concerts and recordings on the WFMT Network and online at cso.org/radio. Recordings by the CSO have earned 62 Grammy Awards, including two in 2011 for Muti's recording with the CSO and Chorus of Verdi's Messa da Requiem (Muti's first of four releases with the CSO to date).

The CSO is part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, which includes the Chicago Symphony Chorus (Duain Wolfe, Director and Conductor) and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, a training ensemble. Through its Symphony Center Presents series, the CSOA presents guest artists from a variety of genres-classical, jazz, world, and contemporary.

The Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO offers community and education programs that annually engage more than 200,000 people of diverse ages and backgrounds. Through the Institute and other activities, including a free annual concert with Muti and the CSO, the CSO promotes the concept of Citizen Musicianship: using the power of music to create connections and build community.