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(Photo credit: Chris Sweda)

Conductor Riccardo Muti Extends Contract with Chicago Symphony

The Italian conductor will continue to serve as the orchestra’s music director through their 2022-23 season


Muti became Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s (CSO) 10th Music Director in 2010. Succeeding Daniel Barenboim, Muti's tenure was originally set to conclude at the end of their 2021-22 season.

However, because of the many months of canceled concerts due to COVID-19, Muti agreed to the CSO Association’s request to remain in the role for one more year.

The next season will see Muti continue his usual role, directing CSO in ten weeks of subscription and special concerts, Chicago’s community events, and four weeks of domestic and international tours. 

Muti’s programs for the 2022-23 season will include the world premiere of a CSO-commissioned work by Mead Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery and Beethoven’s "Missa Solemnis" with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and a roster of international artists. 

In addition, Muti will conduct the CSO for their Asia Tour, traveling to Taiwan, China, and Japan, which is scheduled for January 2023. 

In his tenure so far, Muti was involved in creating new artistic positions at CSO including the Creative Consultant role which was held by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Artist-in-Residence position, currently held by violinist Hilary Hahn.

Muti made his debut with the CSO in 1973 at the Ravinia Festival. After over a 34-year hiatus, Muti led the CSO in 2007 in a month-long residency that included subscription concerts and a European tour involving CSO’s first appearance in Italy in more than 25 years. 

He appeared with CSO several times as Music Director Designate in 2009 and his official debut as its director in 2010 had him lead the symphony in a concert that attracted 25,000 people to the Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park.

“On behalf of the Association’s Board of Trustees, it gives me great pleasure to share this exciting news today,” said Helen Zell, CSO Association's Board Chair. “The unique artistry of Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is recognized as something truly exceptional not only in Chicago, but also around the world.” 

“After such a challenging time without the opportunity to connect to the joy of live music, we are grateful that Maestro Muti has accepted our invitation to stay with us to make music that lifts our spirits and inspires us,” Zell added.

“I look forward to being in Chicago again with the musicians to bring music back into the city,” said Muti. “I am very proud of the musicians of this great orchestra and happy to stay as music director to continue our great artistic collaboration, and to work with our Trustees, volunteers and Administration to keep music an important part of our community and a beacon of hope around the world.”

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